Tech Data shares made modest gains Thursday, one day after it topped analysts' estimates by 7 cents a share.
Tech Data (Nasdaq: TECD) picked up 69 cents to $29.31 Thursday after posting a third-quarter profit of $47.2 million, or 82 cents a share, on sales of $5.2 billion.
First Call Corp. consensus expected the computer equipment distributor to earn 75 cents a share in the quarter.
Tech Data also raised its sales and earnings estimates for the rest of the fiscal year.
On Thursday, Merrill Lynch analyst Steven Fortuna reiterated his "accumulate" recommendation and maintained his earnings estimates for the fourth quarter and the fiscal 2002.
"Despite concerns over a slowing U.S. economy and the resultant impact on IT spending in general, Tech Data enjoys significant offsets," he wrote in a research report. "The company's revenue base is broadly diversified geographically, meaning that there is less riding on any one geographical region."
The $5.2 billion in sales represents a 20 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it made $33 million, or 60 cents a share, on sales of $4.3 billion.
Company officials said it expects to earn between $173 million and $176 million, or between $3.06 and $3.10 a share, in fiscal 2001, slightly better than the $3.01 a share most analysts were expecting.
"We had a terrific third quarter in what is turning out to be an outstanding fiscal year," said CEO Steven Raymund in a prepared release. "Our management team, electronic commerce strategy, business controls and overall execution continue to get stronger and stronger."
It now expects total sales of between $20.3 billion to $20.4 billion in the fiscal year.
Last quarter, it raked in $40.8 million, or 72 cents a share, on sales of $5 billion.
Tech Data shares moved up to a 52-week high of $55.88 in August after falling to a low of $20 a share in February.
Twelve of the 14 analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."
First Call Corp. consensus expected the software developer to lose 45 cents a share in the quarter.
For the year, it earned $112.3 million, or $1.58 a share, on sales of $783.8 million compared to a profit of $190.7 million, or $2.60 a share, on sales of $806.1 million in fiscal 1999.
Its shares finished off 72 cents to $34.88 ahead of the earnings report.