International Business Machines (IBM), Sun Microsystems, and Gateway all performed admirably in their most recent quarters as each outperformed earnings estimates. IBM did particularly well with record sales of $25.1 billion; this gave them a $2.3 billion profit.

"We had a good quarter that capped a year of significant progress for us," said IBM CEO Lou Gerstner. "We showed particular strength in services and software, two areas of critical importance as our customers increasingly embrace e-business and network computing."

Sun Microsystems earned $272 million on sales of $2.78 billion, while it announced a 2-for-1 stock split. Sun's SPARC and Solaris businesses pulled in the lion's share of the earnings while the company is looking to Java and Jini for future growth.

Meanwhile, PC maker Gateway posted a profit of $129 million on sales of $2.31 billion, which it thanked the Christmas season for. The company warned investors in November that it might not meet earnings estimates but was able to overcome that problem with a stronger-than-expected outing