BOSTON (TheStreet Ratings) -- IBM (IBM) is scheduled to report second-quarter earnings after the stock market closes today, with analysts forecasting year-over-year improvements in earnings and revenue.Analysts are expecting the global technology firm to report earnings per share of $3.03, compared with $2.61 a year earlier. Revenue is estimated to increase 7% to $25.4 billion from $23.7 billion due to improved demand within its systems technology segment. Growth in IBM's cloud offerings are also providing a source of growth, as management has noted that cloud related revenue is expected to double in 2011.
Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by over 35% in the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, IBM should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year. From a valuation perspective, IBM's price-to-earnings ratio indicates a discount compared to an average of 20.27 for the IT Services industry and a value on par with the S&P 500 average of 16.16. Conducting a second comparison, its price-to-book ratio of 9.30 indicates a significant premium versus the S&P 500 average of 2.18 and a premium versus the industry average of 8.24. Furthermore, the price-to-sales ratio is well above the S&P 500 average, but well below the industry average.