Arrow Electronics' earnings fell 96 percent in the first quarter, but it was still better than expected.
The Melville-based distributor earned $2.8 million, or 3 cents per share, for the first quarter, compared with $71.7 million, or 68 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Thomson/Financial First Call had projected break-even results.
Arrow reported $1.95 billion in sales in the quarter, compared with $3.28 billion in the first quarter last year.
Arrow's results no longer reflect the amortization of goodwill, in accordance with recent changes to generally accepted accounting principles, the company said.
"We remained modestly profitable in a very difficult market," said Francis Scricco, president and CEO of Arrow, in a statement.
Worldwide computer products sales totaled $603 million in the quarter, an 18 percent sequential decline from the seasonally strong fourth quarter.
"Our team did a good job in a difficult quarter and our financial measures, such as gross profit, operating income and return on working capital, reflect that. We are selling our value, and getting paid for it," Scricco said. "Structurally, we are well-positioned to support higher volume levels. It is inevitable that volume will increase,it's just a question of how much and how soon. If historical cycles are a guide, we'd expect to see a gradual pickup over the next couple of quarters, accelerating in [the fourth quarter and early 2003."
Arrow shares were trading at $26.65 Thursday morning, up 48 cents, or 2 percent.