Ingram Micro

(IM)

reported fourth-quarter earnings today that beat Wall Street's estimates by a penny, but the company said first-quarter earnings will amount to about half of what analysts are expecting because of declining demand.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 30, Ingram Micro earned $57.9 million, or 39 cents a share, down from $75 million, or 51 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Ten analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

expected the company, which is based in Santa Ana, Calif., to earn 38 cents a share.

Ingram Micro also posted fourth-quarter revenue of $8.1 billion, up 3% from $7.8 billion in the same period one year ago.

The technology products wholesaler expects earnings of $22 million to $27 million, or 15 cents to 18 cents a diluted share, for the first quarter ending March 31. Analysts expect the company to earn 32 cents a share. Ingram Micro projected first-quarter revenue of $7.3 billion to $7.6 billion.

"For the first quarter of 2001, we are experiencing a significant slowdown in demand in the U.S. technology market and expect sales to decline compared to the first quarter of 2000," the company said.