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Gartner shares fall on disappointing 2013 guidance

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Technology research provider Gartner Inc. said Thursday that its net income rose 31 percent in the fourth quarter, but its 2013 forecast was on the low end of Wall Street's expectations.

Gartner attributed the quarterly profit growth to a double-digit increase in research contracts for IT assessment services.

The company said it expects earnings per share between $1.96 and $2.10 in the coming year. Analysts polled by FactSet are expecting earnings at the upper end of that range at $2.08 per share.

Company shares fell $2.44, or 4.6 percent, to $50.28 in afternoon trading.

Revenue in the last quarter of 2012 rose 11 percent to almost $474.8 million with growth in the company's research and event divisions offsetting a drop in consulting revenue.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings per share of 59 cents on revenue of $478 million

For the period ended Dec. 31 the company's net income rose to $58.8 million, or 61 cents per share, up from $45 million, or 46 cents per share. Revenue rose to $1.1 billion from $1 billion.