Wall St. Brief: IBM Profit SOARS, Nokia Sales BEAT Estimates, GM DUMPS Assets

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IBM’s (NYSE:IBM)¬†second-quarter net profit increased six percent to $3.9 billion as earnings per share of $3.51 exceeded expectations. Revenue fell three percent to $25.78 billion and missed estimates. It was affected by economic problems in some markets, lowered hardware sales and a rising dollar. IBM increased its 2012 earnings per share guidance from $15 to $15.10, higher than analysts’ forecasts.

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In pre-market trading, Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) shares increased 8.70 percent after the company announced it sold four million Lumia phones in the second quarter. But it wasn’t all good news as Nokia’s net loss expanded to EUR 1.41 billion from EUR 369 million from the previous year; revenue tanked 24 percent to EUR 14.8 billion but increased on the quarter. In a statement by CEO Stephen Elop, he said, “We believe the Windows Phone 8 launch will be an important catalyst for Lumia.”

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will report their earnings after the bell today and it could be a tale of stories: Google remains a growth one while Microsoft is status quo. For Google, its second quarter earnings per share has been estimated to rise to $10.04 from $8.74 from the previous year with revenue up 21.6 percent to $8.41 billion. Microsoft has a fiscal fourth quarter earnings per share estimate declining to $0.62 from $0.69 on revenue growth of 4.4 percent to $18.13 billion.

GM (NYSE:GM) will sell its illiquid private-equity assets from its underfunded pension plan to the Chinese government for $1.5 billion to $2 billion, reported the Financial Times.¬†GE’s pension plan has $109 billion in assets and $134 billion in obligations; this large liability is a huge risk to the company.

United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) is conducting final talks to sell its Rocketdyne business to Gencorp (NYSE:GY), reported Reuters, as United Tech works to unload its non-core units so it can close its $16.5 billion Goodrich purchase. For Rocketdyne, the deal could bring in more than $400 million and be finalized either this week or some afterwards.

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