CDW’s January sales are expected to range from $600 million to $610 million, representing a year-over-year increase in consolidated sales per day of 11 percent to 13 percent, according to a preview report by financial analyst firm Raymond James and Associates.
The St. Petersburg, Fla.-based firm issued its report a day ahead of CDW’s expected release of actual January sales, scheduled for Feb. 9. Raymond James estimated that CDW sales excluding the Berbee acquisition would range from between $570 million and $575 million.
The firm noted that corporate growth at the Vernon Hills, Ill., VAR giant improved by 3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006 after declining in the third quarter by 2.5 percent.
“Comparisons should be increasingly favorable as we move through 2007,” said Brian Alexander, an analyst at the firm, in the report. “As growth improves, it should provide investors with more comfort in management’s decision to realign the sales force.”
CDW has said that it planned to increase sales headcount by 350 to 400 in 2007, and analysts believe that will put pressure on operating margins for the third year in a row.
“CDW should ultimately leverage these costs, but in the short run it will result in negative leverage,” Alexander said. “We expect CDW to meet the new operating margin range of 5.8 percent to 6.3 percent, similar to a year ago when management reduced its operating margin guidance.”