While the technology-laden Nasdaq races to new highs, the world's largest IT distributor was out today saying that "the demand environment remains stable, but not robust."
That was the word from Ingram Micro (NYSE: IM ) , which also confirmed its financial guidance for the current quarter ending Sept. 27. The company's CEO and Chairman Kent B. Foster commented, "We continue to be cautiously optimistic about the second half of this year."
"Cautiously optimistic" may sound good on the surface, but the reality is that Ingram Micro is on pace to generate $21.5 billion in revenue this year, which is less than last year's revenue of $22.5 billion. For investors watching the soaring prices of technology-related shares, this begs the question, are stabilizing fundamentals enough to justify these higher prices?
This outlook from Ingram Micro is not the stuff of a second-half recovery that so many investors have been hoping for. Yes, technology demand is firming, but it would seem that the Nasdaq's year-to-date run of 39% has already more than discounted a mere firming of demand.
Soon technology investors are going to begin looking for signs of whether 2004 will bring real, sustained growth in technology spending. If those signs don't materialize, expect jitters to hit the Nasdaq.