* Q4 EPS $1.35 vs est $1.01
* Q4 rev $6.28 bln vs est $6.03 bln
* Sees Q1 rev up in mid-single digit range y-o-y
* Shares fall 8 pct
(Adds conference call details, analyst comments, updates share
By Mansi Dutta
BANGALORE, March 2 Tech Data Corp (TECD.O)
posted fourth-quarter results that beat estimates by a wide
margin, but its shares slipped more than 8 percent as it
forecast weak revenue growth in the first quarter.
The technology products distributor said it expects
first-quarter net sales to increase in the mid single-digit
Analysts on average projected revenue of $5.48 billion for
the period, a growth of about 10 percent from last year.
"The reason the guidance is less than what the Street
expected, at least on the top line, is because they're
intentionally walking away from some larger price aggressive
deals," said Needham & Co analyst Richard Kugele.
"And when you do so, typically, your gross and operating
margins are better."
It's just a business decision on where the company wants to
play to drive operating performance and no negative signal on
IT spending, he added.
Tech Data remains optimistic on the IT spending environment
and said it expects to achieve operating margins of 1.5 percent
before stock compensation expense, by 2013.
The company's below-normal outlook for the first quarter
reflects its focus on profitability over revenue growth amid an
intensifying pricing environment, said Goldman Sachs analyst
Craig Hettenbach in a note.
Tech Data along with rivals Ingram Micro IM.N, Avnet Inc
(AVT.N) and Arrow Electronics (ARW.N) is considered a barometer
of corporate technology spending. It distributes products for
Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) and Apple (AAPL.O) among others.
For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, the company said its
net income attributable to shareholders rose to $70.1 million,
or $1.35 a share, from $57 million, or $1.14 a share, a year
Revenue rose 10 percent to $6.28 billion, helped by sales
growth across both markets it operates -- Americas and Europe.
Analysts on average were looking for earnings of $1.01 a
share, excluding items, on revenue of $6.03 billion, for the
fourth quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales in the United States grew nearly 7 percent
"This was our first fourth quarter sequential increase in
five years," the company, which distributes products from
personal computers to microchips, said on the conference call.
The Americas had a strong close to the year and a good
business mix, yielding operating margin of 1.75 percent, Tech
Last month, Ingram Micro reported better-than-expected
results as corporate IT spending bounced back, but forecast
margins below expectations. [ID:nN18229777]
Tech Data shares were down $3.57 at $41.26 in midday trade
Tuesday on Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Mansi Dutta and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty; Editing
by Anthony Kurian, Gopakumar Warrier)