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Tech Data shares slump on earnings drop, but revenue hits record

Shares in Tech Data Corp. slumped Thursday after the Clearwater-based company missed analysts' expectations for first-quarter profits.

The computer products reseller — Tampa Bay's largest public company by revenue — reported a profit of $13.5 million in its fiscal quarter ended April 30. That's down from $17.8 million in the year-ago period.

But in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Tech Data CEO Robert Dutkowsky honed in another number: $6.73 billion in quarterly revenue.

That record quarterly revenue, up 9 percent from $6.15 billion a year ago, reflect an encouraging pickup in orders from both government and small and medium-sized businesses. Both segments had resisted buying new mobile devices, laptops and other IT equipment during the prolonged recession.

Driving demand for both government and schools was the emergence of Google Chromebooks. The devices have become popular in part because they are less expensive than PCs and use the cloud to store data while connected to the Internet, and therefore don't require disc drives for retrieving files.

Sales in the long-suffering European market, which accounts for 60 percent of Tech Data's business, were up 10 percent.

Taking out nonrecurring items tied to acquisitions and an earlier restatement, Tech Data had earnings of 72 cents per share, missing analysts' estimates by 21 cents.

Dutkowsky said the company met its internal sales targets, but didn't get the bottom-line results investors sought because of the product mix. "If we sell too many low-profit products or not enough high-profit products, we don't always deliver the profits Wall Street is looking for," he said.

After falling as much as 7 percent, shares in Tech Data closed Thursday at $60.26, down $2.68, or about 4 percent.

Tech Data shares slump on earnings drop, but revenue hits record 05/29/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 29, 2014 8:12pm]
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