International Business Machines Corp. yesterday reported a 17.6 per cent increase in third quarter net income to $690.4 million ($4.66 a share) from last year's $587 million (13.90).

Gross income rose 15.9 per cent to $4.59 billion, compared with $3.96 billion in 1976.

Nine months profits increased to $1.92 billion ($12.92) compared with $1.72 billion ($11.47) a year ago. Gross income rose to $13.1 billion from $11.8 billion.

IBM Chairman Frank T. Cary said. "The volume of outright purchases of data-processing equipment . . . a record for any previoud quarter, was the principal factor in the improved results."

He also said incoming orders and shipments "continued at high levels and were substantially ahead" of the first nine months of 1976.

Colgate-Palmolive Co. reported marginally improved third quarter earnings on significantly higher sales.

The firm, a leader in soap and other household products, reported earnings of $45.8 million (59 cents a share) compared with $43.1 million (37 cents) a year ago.

Sales were $970.8 million compared with $885 million.

For the first nine months of this year, the firm earned $121.6 million ($1.57) compared with $111.3 million ($1.46) a year before. Sales were $2.8 billion opposed to $2.6 billion.

The company said foreign and domestic operations contributed to sales gains in the third quarter, but reduced consumer demand in several European countries put pressure on profits.

"Based on the nine months results and the current outlook, we expect sales and earnings gains of 8 per cent to 9 per cent for full year 1977," the firm said in a statement.

Burroughs Corps. yesterday reported record third quarter profits yesterday.

Earnings rose 16 per cent to $43.2 million ($1.06 a share) from $37.2 million (92 cents) in the 1976 quarter, on an increase in revenues of 11 per cent to $490 million.

Paul S. Mirabito, president, said in coming orders for large computers more than doubled the number of last year's units ordered in the quarter and orders for the smaller B80 and B800 also more than doubled.

Blacklogs worldwide increased 28 per cent from begining of the year, he said.

Control Data Corp. reported a 7 per cent gain in third quarter earnings and a 15 per cent increase for the first nine months.

The company profits rose to $16 million (93 cents a share), up from $15 million (87 cnets) a year before.

For the nine months, Control Data had net earnings of $42.3 million ($2.45) compared with $36.7 million ($2.12) in the first three quarters of last year.

Revenues for the third quarter were $373 million, up 13 per cent from $329 million a year earlier. For the nine months, revenues were $1.1 billion, up 11 per cent from $971 million.

Third quarter earnings for Control Data's computer business were $6.1 million, compared with $5.5 million in the same period last year.

Third quarter results, the firm said, were aided by sharply increased sales of computer equipment to minicomputer and small systems manufacturers.

PPG Industries reported hearty flat third quarter earnings on record sales.

Profits were $40.4 million ($1.29 a share) compared to 1976 earnings of $40.1 million ($1.29).

Sales of $648 million were an all-time high and increased considerably from 1976 sales of $591 million.

The firm's previous quarterly sales high of $640 million was recorded in the second quarter this year.

Reynolds Metals Co. announced a decline in its third quarter earnings to $19 million 97 cents a share) compared with $22.8 million $1.27) a year ago. Sales rose to $592.5 million compared with $544 million.

The company said the figures included a non-recurring loss of $7.6 million (42 cents) resulting from the shutdown of two unprofitable operations.

Time Inc., the diversified media conglomerate, said profits jumped more than 36 per cent in the third quarter from a year before.

The company said profits rose to $19.4 million (95 cents a share) from $12.5 million (62 cents) in the 1976 quarter. Revenue increased to $303.1 million from $254.8 million.

For the nine months, Time earned $59.5 million ($2.93) compared with last year's $43.3 million ($2.15). Revenue was $882.3 million, compared with $749 million in 1976.

The company said iths cable television subsidiary, Home Box Office Inc., made a profit for the first time since the business was started in 1972.

Earnings were $2.1 million (83 cents a share) compared with $2.3 million (88 cents) a year before. Revenue rose to $10.6 million from $10.2 million.

For the nine months, earnings fell to $7.4 million (2.88) from $7.6 million ($2.94) a year before. Revenue climbed to $34.4 million from $33.5 million.

For the second straight 12-month period, Playboy Enterprises earnings nearly doubled in the fiscal year ending June 30, chairman and chief executive Hugh M. Hefner and president Derick J. Daniels announced.

The firm reported net earnings of $4.2 million (45 cents a share) compared with $2.6 million (22 cents) in 1975. Revenues increased by 12.9 per cent from $197.8 million to $223.4 million.

"We are rapidly reallocating Playboy's resources and priorities," Daniels said. "We have put into place people and programs designed to provide steady growth in the company's annual earnings."

Chemical New York Corp., holding company for Chemical Bank, the nation's sixth largest bank, said third quarter net income fell slightly below results from the 1976 period.

Net income after securities transactions was $24.8 million ($1.63 a share compared with $24.9 million (1.72) in 1976.

Profits for the first nine months was $74.8 million ($5.07)against $67.2 million ($4.65).

The company said the decline in third quarter net income was attributable to investment portfolio transactions that provided funds to be reinvested at higher rates.

The loan loss provision in the latest quarter was $24.2 million, down $6.2 million from the $30.4 million last year. For the nine months, the provision was $73 million, a $16.1 million decrease from last year.

THe reserve for possible loan losses was $145.4 million, or 0.94 per cent of total loans as of Sept. 30, compared with a reserve of $131.6 million, or 0.98 per cent, a year earlier.

Marine Midland Banks Inc., holding company for the nation's 12th-largest bank, reported a rise in profits to $4.6 million (36 cents a share) for the third quarter compared with $3.2 million (26 cents) a year earlier.

For the nine months, Marine Midland, which is based in Buffalo, N.Y., earned $13.9 million ($1.10) against $7.7 million, (61 cents).

The company's provision for loan losses was $36.4 million in the first nine months of this year, compared with $46.8 million in the first nine months of 1976. Actual net loan charge-offs were $35.6 million for the first nine months, compared with $62.2 million a year ago.

The prior year's financial statements were restated to reflect the retroactive adoption in 1977 of the Financial Accounting Standards Board's Statement No. 13 accounting for leases.

The 1976 results also been restated for discontinuance of an administrative fee between the parent company and the bank.

Equity income or loss from equity investments, which for financial reporting purposes was previously included in net interest income, is now included in other operating income. Equity investments have been reclassifiefrom other securities to other assets.