PC Connection sales rise, income drops

Third-quarter net sales were up for Merrimack-based PC Connection Inc., a direct marketer of information technology products and solutions, while net income was down, the company announced Thursday.

The quarter, which ended Sept. 30, saw a 5.6 percent increase in net sales, rising to $371.1 million from $351.3 million reported for the same time last year. Earnings per share fell from 11 cents to 8 cents, yielding net income for third-quarter 2005 of $1.9 million, down from $2.8 million last year and just shy of Wall Street analysts’ estimates of 9 cents per share.

Overall revenue exceeded analyst estimates of $368.81 million.

These numbers reflect the inclusion of costs related to management restructuring and other charges, the company said. Without these, net income would have been $2.5 million, or 10 cents per share, according to the firm.

Sales to government and educational institutions represented the greatest increase, accounting for a 12.1 percent increase to $87.2 million compared to 2004’s third quarter. Net sales to large customers marked a 3.8 percent increase to $80.4 million and were up 2.5 percent from the previous quarter. Net sales for the small- and medium-sized businesses increased 3.9 percent to $203.5 million but fell by nearly two percent from the previous quarter.

Company officials remain optimistic about the fourth quarter and plan to continue expanding customer relationships and improving their ability to provide service, said Chairman and CEO Patricia Gallup.

“Our balance sheet is very healthy, and we are focused on maintaining a strong financial position even as we invest for the future,” Gallup said. – TRACIE STONE

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