Clearwater's Tech Data reports record first-quarter sales

Clearwater tech product distributor Tech Data reported record first-quarter revenue and profit Monday. But weak sales in European countries with faltering economies kept the company from meeting Wall Street expectations.

"The strength of the good guys was not enough to make up for the weakness of the bad guys," said CEO Robert W. Dutkowsky.

The largest company headquartered in the Tampa Bay area, Tech Data reported a profit of $48.7 million, or $1.03 per share, for the period ending April 30, up from $45.6 million, or 88 cents per share, a year earlier. Net sales rose 13 percent to $6.3 billion. Strengthening of some European currencies against the dollar account for 3 percentage points of the increase.

Analysts polled by Thompson Reuters most recently forecast a $1.05 per-share profit and $6.4 billion in revenue.

Sales fell short of company projections in Switzerland, the Czech Republic and southern European nations such as Spain, where year-to-year revenue was down 30 percent, Dutkowsky said. That offset sales gains in Germany, France and Scandinavia, he said.

Overall, sales grew 18 percent in Europe and 6 percent in the Americas.

Dutkowsky called economies in northern Europe, the United States and Canada "fairly robust." But the United States showed pockets of weakness, he said.

Spending on tech products by federal agencies ground to a halt when Republicans in Congress threatened to shut down the government. School districts used money for tech purchases to keep teachers on the payroll as their budgets were slashed by states, Dutkowsky said.

Information from Dow Jones News Wires was used in this report. Contact Steve Huettel at huettel@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3384.

Clearwater's Tech Data reports record first-quarter sales 05/23/11 [Last modified: Monday, May 23, 2011 10:14pm]

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