The Best (And Worst) Channel Stocks Of 2010

2010 Channel Stocks

On average, channel stocks performed above the average of the Dow Jones and Nasdaq indices in 2010, but as in many industries there were some big winners and some losers. While the Dow increased 11 percent last year and Nasdaq was up 16.9 percent, a handful of channel companies performed well above that mark.

Here's a look at 12 IT channel companies' performance on Wall Street in 2010, from worst to first.

Tech Data

Dec. 31, 2010: $44.02
Dec. 31, 2009: $46.66
Change: -5.7%

Tech Data has the dubious title of the worst performing stock measured here. Its shares fell 5.7 percent during 2010 despite regularly reporting healthy financial results.

Tech Data shares were trading below $40 in early October, so the distributor rebounded somewhat in the fourth quarter.


Dec. 31, 2010: $4.71
Dec. 31, 2009: $4.96
Change: -5.0%

GTSI's stock fell 40 percent in October after the Small Business Administration temporarily suspended the reseller's federal contracting authority.

As a result, Eyak Technology, an Alaska-based company withdrew its offer to buy GTSI for $7.50 per share and CEO Scott Friedlander resigned after a settlement with the SBA to regain its federal-selling ability.

Last month, GTSI named Sterling Phillips Jr. as its new president and CEO.


Dec. 31, 2010: $31.20
Dec. 31, 2009: $30.66
Change: + 1.8%

Synnex shares increased just marginally in 2010, up less than 2 percent. During the year, Synnex sold off some contract assembly assets and launched a mobile app for VARs to order, track and check inventory.

Ingram Micro

Dec. 31, 2010: $19.09
Dec. 31, 2009: $17.45
Change: + 9.4%

It wasn't a great year for broadline distributors on Wall Street, but Ingram Micro fared the best of the Big Three. Among its highlights for 2010, Ingram launched a cloud marketplace and services network last year.


Dec. 31, 2010: $33.03
Dec. 31, 2009: $30.16
Change: + 9.5%

Avnet's shares increased 9.5 percent in 2010, below the Dow Jones and Nasdaq averages, despite expanding its SolutionsPath portfolio to include the financial, retail and vertical markets.

Insight Enterprises

Dec. 31, 2010: $13.16
Dec. 31, 2009: $11.42
Change: + 15.2%

Insight welcomed a new CEO last January, former Tech Data executive Ken Lamneck, and posted solid financial results during the year.

Arrow Electronics

Dec. 31, 2010: $34.25
Dec. 31, 2009: $29.61
Change: + 15.7%

Arrow launched a cloud computing initiative in 2010, including a partnership with Terremark to offer public cloud solutions, and also bought a VAR500 company, Shared Technologies.


Dec. 31, 2010: $48.49
Dec. 31, 2009: $41.50
Change: + 16.8%

Shares of Accenture increased nearly 17 percent in 2010, a solid showing on Wall Street that was slightly higher than the major indices. Accenture, No. 5 on the VAR500 list, announced in October that it would buy the sourcing services and business process outsourcing services assets of Ariba, which provides collaborative business commerce solutions. Under the terms of the $51 million agreement


Dec. 31, 2010: $21.90
Dec. 31, 2009: $26.70
Change: + 19.5%

ScanSource spent much of 2010 helping VARs transition from Nortel to Avaya, which it must have done well enough to impress investors with a stock increase of nearly 20 percent last year.

PC Connection

Dec. 31, 2010: $8.86
Dec. 31, 2009: $6.75
Change: + 31.3%

PC Connection's strong showing on Wall Street is particularly impressive considering the solution provider's stock had been down 10 percent through the first half of the year. Shares jumped more than $1.20 per share on Oct. 22 after the company topped third-quarter earnings estimates.

PC Mall

Dec. 31, 2010: $7.57
Dec. 31, 2009: $5.22
Change: + 45.0%

Like its competitor PC Connection, PC Mall shares also jumped on Oct. 22 after PC Connection announced its earnings. Interestingly, PC Mall didn't announce its earnings until Nov. 4 and its shares fell the next day to below $6.50. It didn't take long for them to recover and continue to rise more than a dollar over the last three months of 2010.


Dec. 31, 2010: $12.10
Dec. 31, 2009: $8.27
Change: + 46.3%

Sapient saw most of its 46 percent increase occur during the first three quarters. The VAR's shares closed at $11.97 on Sept. 30 and saw just a negligible gain in the fourth quarter. Sapient reported in August that service revenue increased 36 percent in the second quarter to $200.4 million.