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Gartner 1Q profit rises but misses Street's view

NEW YORK (AP) -- Technology research and consulting firm Gartner Inc. said Thursday that its net income climbed 7 percent in the first quarter, led by improved performances at its research and events segments.

But its results missed analysts' expectations, and shares dropped in morning trading.

For the period ended March 31, Gartner Inc. earned $36.7 million, or 38 cents per share. That's up from $34.2 million, or 36 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding acquisition charges, earnings came to 39 cents per share.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 40 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue increased 10 percent to $406.8 million from $369.2 million in the 2012 first quarter. Wall Street forecast $408.2 million in revenue.

Shares of Gartner declined $2.12, or 3.7 percent, to $54.68. Over the past year, the stock has traded between $39.50 and $58.60, and it started the day up more than 20 percent since the start of the year.

Research revenue rose 13 percent to $310.3 million, with contract value up 14 percent when removing the impact of foreign exchange rates. Events revenue jumped 19 percent to $23.8 million as the number of attendees grew to 5,788 from 5,707 last year.

Revenue for the consulting segment fell 3 percent to $72. 6 million, but the company was encouraged by a 2 percent increase in backlog.

Gartner maintained its 2013 earnings and revenue forecasts. The company, which will hold its annual shareholders meeting on May 30, still expects earnings in a range of $1.96 to $2.10 per share on revenue between $1.78 billion and $1.82 billion.

Analysts are looking for earnings of $2.08 per share, on revenue of $1.8 billion.