5. Income Taxes
Income tax provisions for interim periods are based on estimated annual income tax rates, adjusted to reflect the effects of any significant infrequent or unusual items which are required to be discretely recognized within the current interim period. The Company's intention is to permanently reinvest its foreign earnings outside of the United States. As a result, the effective tax rates in the periods presented are largely based upon the forecasted pre-tax earnings mix and allocation of certain expenses in various taxing jurisdictions where the Company conducts its business that apply a broad range of statutory income tax rates, certain of which are less than the U.S. statutory rate.
The effective tax rate for the three months ended June 30, 2011 and June 30, 2010 was 25% and 30%, respectively. The effective tax rate for the six months ended June 30, 2011 and June 30, 2010 was 26% and 27%, respectively. The tax rate for the three and six months ended June 30, 2011 included a $4 million tax benefit recorded in the second quarter of 2011 related to the book gain recorded on the Company's previous equity investment in Aster Data, which was reflected as a permanent non-taxable item. For further information regarding the Company's acquisition of Aster Data, refer to Note 12. The tax rate for the six months ended June 30, 2010 included a $5 million tax benefit associated with the recognition of certain foreign net operating loss carryforwards resulting from an audit settlement in the first quarter of 2010.