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NEW YORK, April 24 (Reuters) – Electronics distributor Avnet Inc posted a small rise in quarterly net profit on Thursday, a week after it warned investors that earnings would be well below earlier targets.

Third-quarter net income rose to $107.2 million, or 71 cents per share, from $105.2 million, or 70 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, earnings were 76 cents per share for the quarter ended March 29.

Analysts on average had expected the company to post profit of 75 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

On April 15, Avnet warned that earnings would be well below targets, citing lower rebates as well as weaker-than-expected demand in its chip and computer resale business.

"We are extremely disappointed with our earnings for the third quarter as both operating groups were below our profit forecast," Chief Executive Roy Vallee said.

Avnet blamed the earnings shortfall on weakness in its technology solutions business, which sells server computers and other computer products of companies such as IBM, Sun Microsystems Inc and Microsoft Corp.

Revenue rose 13.3 percent to $4.42 billion.

Avnet said it expected fourth quarter earnings to be in the range of 79 cents to 83 cents a share, with consolidated sales of between $4.55 billion and $4.75 billion.

Analysts have been expecting earnings of 80 cents per share on sales of $4.6 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Avnet shares were down slightly at $26.10 in pre-market trading.

(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke, editing by Dave Zimmerman and Ted Kerr) 

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