(Bloomberg News) -- IBM’s first-quarter earnings beat analysts’ estimates that were already significantly lowered, helped by sales of its new mainframe and cloud-computing services.

Profit excluding some items was $2.91 a share, Armonk, New York-based International Business Machines Corp. said in a statement. That compares with the $2.81 average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That estimate was already down 8.2 percent in the past three months. Analysts began cutting them after Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty said in October that the company would fall short of a long-held profit goal.

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