By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Santa Ana, Calif. — North American sales rose 2 percent in the fourth quarter at technology distributor Ingram Micro, hitting $3.14 billion, compared with a year-ago $3.08 billion. This sales region accounted for 42 percent of the company's overall business. North American operating income for the three months, ended Jan. 1, reached $37.9 million, down from $45.7 million for a one-week longer period in 2004. The company said North America faced a tough prior-year comparison in an “intensely competitive” market. Sales in the region improved year-over-year and delivered strong results in the logistics business, said the company. Consolidated fourth-quarter Ingram Micro sales hit $7.5 billion, a 10.2 percent increase over a year-ago $6.8 billion. Consolidated net income for the three months reached $79.2 million. Excluding benefits, income was $65 million. Net income the previous year came in at $46.4 million. Excluding major program costs, net income was $52.3 million. Gross margin increased to 5.63 percent in the fourth quarter, up from 5.37 percent a year earlier. Operating expenses were $310.8 million, compared with $282.3 million. Fiscal-year consolidated sales hit $25.5 billion, up 12.6 percent over the previous year's $22.6 billion. Net income for the 12 months reached $219.9 million, compared with $149.2 million year-on-year. Excluding benefits, 12-month net income was $161.1 million vs. $109.6 million year-over-year.
Agoura Hills, Calif. — Multichannel audio company Digital Theater Systems recorded a 12 percent increase in fourth-quarter revenue, climbing to $16.6 million from $14.9 million. Net income for the three months, ended Dec. 31, hit $192,000, down from $3.3 million in the same quarter in 2003. Included in the net income for the fourth quarter of 2004 is a charge of $2.5 million for write-down of excess and obsolete monochrome projector inventory. The company said its core consumer licensing business posted solid growth overall, with continued strength in the DVD and home theater markets. DTS technology, namely decoders for 5.1-channel surround sound processors, is said to be included in 300 million DTS-licensed consumer electronics available worldwide. For the 12 months, revenue increased 19 percent to $61.4 million from a year-ago $51.7 million. Net income, including the inventory write-down hit $10 million, compared with $9.9 million in 2003.
Alameda, Calif. — UTStarcom, the company that purchased Audiovox's cellphone business last year, and sells wireline, wireless, optical and switching solutions to operators in global telecommunications markets, enjoyed a 15 percent increase in consolidated fourth-quarter revenue, hitting $742 million, up from $643.6 million in the year-ago period. The company announced a pretax loss of $66.4 million in the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, and expects to record a tax benefit for the period. Fourth-quarter net income will be released once the full impact of the tax benefit on earnings is released. The company said it still is in the process of determining the extent of the expected income tax benefit and the resulting net income calculation. Consolidated gross profit margin was 14.2 percent of sales in the fourth quarter. Gross profit margin for the historical business, excluding the personal communications division business acquired from Audiovox last November, was 20.1 percent of sales. Gross profit margin for the personal communications division business was 4.3 percent of sales. UTStarcom's personal communications division shipped 1.5 million cellphone units in November/December of 2004. Consolidated sales for the 12 months climbed to $2.7 billion, a 38 percent jump over the $2 billion reported in 2003.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.