Ingram Micro Forecast Disappointing

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Softness in the U.S. and Europe is blamed for the distributor's lower-than-expected financial forecast.

SEATTLE, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Ingram Micro Inc, the world's largest computer products distributor, forecast sales and profit in the current quarter would fall short of Wall Street estimates due to market weakness in North America and Europe, sending its shares down 4 percent.

For the current quarter, Ingram Micro forecast net income of $63 million to $71 million, or 36 cents to 40 cents per diluted share in the first quarter ending March 29. The company called for revenue of between $8.75 billion to $9 billion.

Analysts, on average, had forecast the company would earn 44 cents per share in the first quarter on sales of $9.11 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

"We are experiencing some softness in Europe and North America, which is reflected in our guidance," Ingram Micro Chief Executive Gregory Spierkel said in a statement. "We believe our outlook is solid in light of concerns about the worldwide economic environment."

Ingram Micro beat Wall Street estimates in the most recent quarter. The company posted a 24 percent rise in quarterly profit due in part to sharp gains in European and Asian sales.

Fourth-quarter net income rose to $114.1 million, or 64 cents per diluted share, in the fourth quarter from $91.7 million, or 53 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period. Excluding one-time items, the company earned 61 cents per share.

Sales increased 13 percent to $10.01 billion.

Analysts had forecast fourth-quarter earnings of 60 cents per share excluding items on sales of $9.86 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

In November, the California company said it expected fourth-quarter earnings of between 58 cents to 61 cents a share on revenue of $9.7 billion to $9.95 billion.

Ingram Micro shares fell to $16.75 in after-hours trading after closing at $17.49, down 3.37 percent, in regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Daisuke Wakabayashi, editing by Leslie Gevirtz/Andre Grenon)

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