Tech Data easily topped analysts' estimates in its third quarter Wednesday, a rare bit of bright news in an otherwise dark day for technology companies.
The computer-equipment distributor posted a profit of $47.2 million, or 82 cents a share, on sales of $5.2 billion, beating First Call Corp. consensus estimates by 7 cents a share.
More impressive, company officials raised their sales and earnings estimates for the rest of the fiscal year.
Ahead of the earnings report, Tech Data (Nasdaq: TECD) shares closed off 38 cents to $28.63.
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.