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Micron Electronics tops 1Q estimates

    Micron Electronics Inc. (Nasdaq: MUEI) slipped past analysts' estimates in its first quarter Monday, pocketing $14.6 million, or 15 cents a share, on sales of $352.9 million.

    First Call consensus pegged the PC manufacturer for a profit of 14 cents a share in the quarter.

    Ahead of the earnings report Micron Electronics shares picked up 1/4 to 12 3/8.

    The $352.9 million in sales was down compared to the year-ago quarter when it earned $11.6 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $403 million.

    "During the past quarter we faced a number of challenges that impacted our PC business, including component supply shortages in the notebook business and aggressive pricing by competitors in the government sector," said CEO Joel Kocher in a prepared release.

    Company officials said sales in its PC business fell to $259 million compared to $364 million in the year-ago first quarter, in part due to a 41 percent slip in notebook sales spurred by supply constraints following the Sept. 21 Taiwan earthquake.

    Last quarter, Micron blew away analysts' estimates last quarter, earning $13.7 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $333 million.

    Micron Electronics shares moved up to a 52-week high of 22 5/8 last December before bottoming out at 9 in June.

    Eleven of the 17 analysts following the stock maintain a "hold" recommendation.

    First Call consensus expects it to earn 55 cents a share in the fiscal year.