Trading IBM after earnings

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Though revenue came in short of forecasts, IBM raised its full-year outlook and reported second-quarter earnings Wednesday that exceeded analyst expectations, leading some professional traders to applaud the partial turnaround.

The "skepticism was there because last quarter was an out and out disaster. No question about it. This quarter was fine," said Guy Adami, managing director of, on CNBC's "Fast Money."

To Adami, there are two takeaways from IBM's results: margins improved and revenue missed.

"Given the EPS beat we saw today, you would have hoped the guidance going forward on the EPS side would have been a little better," he said. "That's why I think you saw [the stock] kneejerk higher and then now the stock has been sifting back."

IBM shares were last up nearly 3 percent in after-hours trade.

What is IBM's stock doing now? (Click here for the latest after-hours quote.)

Options trader Pete Najarian agreed that the improved margins bodes well for the world's largest technology services company.

"This is a company that's doing things right and they talked about the second half being their half," Najarian said.

Karen Finerman, president of Metropolitan Capital, hopes IBM's results sets the stage for tech earnings in general. That doesn't mean she wants to own IBM shares, though.

"IBM, it's sort of if you want to be defensive, why be there?" Finerman said. "If you want to be offensive, it sort of doesn't fit."

—By CNBC's Drew Sandholm. Follow him on Twitter @DrewSandholm