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Tech Data 4Q profit rises, helped by tax benefit

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) -- Tech Data's fourth-quarter net income rose 53 percent, bolstered by a large tax benefit.

The Information technology products distributor earned $82.5 million, or $2.17 per share. That compares with $54.1 million, or $1.29 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding 69 cents per share for the release of a deferred tax valuation allowance in Europe, earnings were $1.48 per share, well below the $1.75 expected on Wall Street, according to a poll by FactSet.

CEO Robert Dutkowsky said in a statement that the Tech Data Corp. is contending with a shift from higher-margin products like servers, to lower-margin products such as tablets, cellular phones and software.

Revenue increased 5 percent to $7.46 billion from $7.11 billion, helped in part by an acquisition. Wall Street forecast revenue of $7.23 billion.

Revenue rose 12 percent in Europe, but dropped 6 percent in the Americas, which includes North America and South America.

Gross margin declined to 5.09 percent from 5.27 percent partly because of the shift to lower-margin products.

Full-year net income climbed to $214.6 million, or $5.48 per share, from $206.4 million, or $4.66 per share.

Adjusted earnings were $4.81 per share.

Annual revenue fell 4 percent to $25.36 billion from $26.49 billion.

Tech Data, based in Clearwater, Fla., anticipates a high single-digit percentage increase in revenue.

Analysts predict revenue of $6.34 billion.