Orange County Business Journal

Ingram Micro Beats Expectations

Chris Casacchia Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Santa Ana-based Ingram Micro Inc. on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter revenue and adjusted profits that beat Wall Street expectations.

Ingram, the biggest distributor of computers, software and other technology products in the world, grew sales to $9.95 billion, up less than 1% percent from a year earlier.

Analysts on average had forecast sales of about $9.7 billion.

Adjusted profits hit nearly $105 million, down 8.6% from a year ago.

Wall Street has expected adjusted profits of about $86 million.

The North American market drove the revenue gains as the company saw its second highest quarterly sales in its history since topping $10 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Sales in North America topped $4.2 billion, up 4% from a year ago.

Sales improved in the Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions as well, but dipped slightly in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, largely due to infrastructure problems at its Australian operations.

"We had an excellent finish to 2011, driven by solid performance worldwide," Ingram Chief Executive Alain Monie said in his first earnings statements since taking the helm last month.

Ingram Micro saw annual sales of $36.3 billion for 2011, up 5% from a year ago. It remains the biggest public company based in Orange County in terms of revenue.

The company also provided a muted outlook for 2012, saying revenue growth will track information technology spending forecasts.

Revenue for the current quarter is projected to be flat or slightly down from $8.7 billion it reported a year earlier.

The outlook owes in part to expected declines in European revenue stemming from “uncertainty surrounding the European economy and current expectations for a year-over-year decline in Australia's revenue contribution.”

Ingram shares were up 1% Wednesday before dipping slightly in afterhours trading to a market value of about $3 billion.

Monie rejoined Ingram in November as president after a year heading a manufacturer in China before being promoted.

He was recently named chief executive to replace Gregory Spierkel, who announced his resignation on Jan. 19.

Spierkel held the top post since 2005 and said he wanted to spend more time with his family.

The strong sales performance in the recently ended quarter appears to quell some lingering concerns that shadowed the company for most of 2011 as it dealt with major software and hardware integration problems at its Australia operations.

The difficulties dogged earnings throughout the year.

The systems overhaul is intended to improve automation, operations and services for customers and vendors around the world.

Ingram Micro spent months fixing the glitch, which appears to be corrected.

It has done the overhaul in seven countries and has 19 more on tap. The program began four years ago and has an expected companywide completion date of 2014.