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Tech Data Corporation (NASDAQ:TECD)
Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call
Nov. 29, 2018, 9:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good morning. Welcome to Tech Data Corporation's Fiscal Year 2019 Third Quarter Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. After the presentation, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. To ask a question, please press "*1". Today's conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time.

Now, I'll turn the meeting over to Arleen Quinones, Corporate Vice President of Investor Relations. Ma'am, you may begin.

Arleen Quinones -- Vice President of Investor Relations

Thank you. Good morning and welcome to Tech Data's Earnings Conference Call and Webcast to review our financial results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2019. I am joined this morning by Rich Hume, Chief Executive Officer, and Chuck Dannewitz, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer.

For a detailed look at our third quarter results, please review our financial highlights summary slide presentation posted this morning on the IR portion of our website, located at www.techdata.com/investor. Unless otherwise specified, all growth comparisons made on today's call relate to the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year.

Before we begin, I would like to remind all listeners that today's earnings press release and certain matters discussed on this call may include forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on the company's current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those factors identified in the press release and in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and our most recent annual report on Form 10-K, which identify risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements.

Please be advised that the statements made during today's call should be considered to represent the expectations of management as of the date of this call. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statements to actual results or changes in expectations.

Also, throughout this conference call, we will reference both GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures. Non-GAAP measures exclude certain items contained in our GAAP financial results. Detailed reconciliations between results reported in accordance with GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures can be found in the press release and on the Investor Relations portion of the company's website.

In addition, this call is the property of Tech Data and may not be recorded or rebroadcast without specific written permission from the company.

I will now turn the call over to Tech Data's Chief Executive Officer, Rich Hume.

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Arleen, and good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us today. I am pleased to report that our teams delivered a strong Q3 performance with great execution across all three regions. Worldwide sales grew 11% to $9.3 billion and we achieved high double-digit non-GAAP operating income earnings-per-share growth. All three regions posted double-digit growth in constant currency and expanded their operating margins. In addition, we generated $155 million in cash from operations, we earned a return on invested capital of 12%, paid down $100 million in debt, and returned $44 million to our shareholders through share repurchases.

The combination of strong economies and employment levels, as well as the need for businesses of all sizes to digitally transform and improve productivity, continued to drive robust IT demand. Our worldwide teams capitalized on these trends and delivered profitable growth throughout our geographies and across our solutions portfolios. These results reflect the powerful combination of our end-to-end portfolio and strong execution by our global teams. They also validate the strategic role we play in the IT supply chain, delivering high value through our end-to-end portfolio to channel partners across a broad spectrum of IT products and solutions.

On last quarter's call, I mentioned the major integration milestones are now behind us. We are now squarely focused on executing our four-pillar strategy of investing in next-generation technologies, strengthening our end-to-end portfolio, transforming Tech Data digitally, and optimizing our global footprint. Our strategy's theme can be summarized in four simple words: moving to higher value.

This can be accomplished in a number of ways, including helping to bring the newest and most innovative technologies to the global market as efficiently and as quickly as possible. It also means moving up the stack, adding more value to the products we sell by bundling them with various services to provide complete solutions. All this translates into an improved financial profile.

As technology transitions to hybrid environments in which physical and virtual computing coexist, our vendors and customers need our help more than ever to get products, solutions, and capabilities to the market. It's clear that cloud creates greater need for integration of products, for multi-vendor solutions, and for simplifying the complex, all of which are hallmarks of Tech Data's value proposition in both the physical and virtual worlds.

For the past 40+ years, we have transformed and adapted to changes in technology, all while becoming stronger and more essential to both partners and vendors. As we move into the future, having the right digital platforms will be critical in achieving this. So, I'd like to provide you with some insights on our cloud business and the StreamOne digital platform which supports it.

Cloud continues to be one of the fastest growing areas in our business. In Q3, our cloud billings grew 38% and now represent an annual run rate of nearly $1 billion. As you know, we've been investing in our StreamOne platform. In fact, developing the platform has been our single largest organic investment.

StreamOne provides our customers with the capability to manage the entire end-user lifecycle for consumption and subscription-based cloud services, including tools and resources that enable channel partners to buy and manage services. Tightly integrated with other offerings from the world's leading cloud providers, such as Microsoft Azure, AWS, and IBM Cloud, among many others, StreamOne provides a digital platform for both SMV and enterprise customers that can help them to develop, expand, and accelerate their cloud practices.

During fiscal 2019, we will have added more than 200 highly technical resources to our cloud teams across the regions. These colleagues are dedicated to increasing our sales, digital solutions, engineering support, and services capabilities. In addition, we continued to invest and add resources to expand StreamOne's capability to broaden our reach, accelerate innovation, and make the complex simple by fully digitizing the end-to-end transactional process.

Last month, we announced the introduction of Agile methodologies to our Cloud Practice Builder, our digital enablement tool that helps customers of all sizes to develop and scale their cloud practices quickly and cost-effectively. To complement this, we also launched a cloud mentor program in which resellers can gain digital access to cloud experts and support. And just last week, we announced the addition of Cloud Checker and Analytics Management to the StreamOne platform, giving our partners and their end-user customers greater control of their AWS and Azure environments.

Enablement tools such as these, together with our StreamOne platform and the vast ecosystem of vendors, ISVs, and solution providers, differentiate us in the market and help to simplify our partners' workloads. All of this positions us to be the leading hybrid cloud solution aggregator by providing integrated private and public cloud technologies as a service solution.

As further evidence of our strategic position in the channel, earlier this month, Tech Data received Cisco's Distributor of the Year award and we were also named CDW's Distribution Partner of the Year for the third consecutive year. These awards reflect our ability to deliver consistent value to our channel partners, value that is simply not measured in products and solutions that we delivered but, more importantly, measured by the people of Tech Data and their intense commitment and passion to help our channel partners navigate the rapidly changing IT ecosystem and grow their businesses.

In summary, our third quarter results demonstrate that our differentiated end-to-end portfolio, skills, and capability are helping to expand our position as a preferred partner to the world's leading technology vendors and to serve our customers better than any other IT distributor. They also reveal the enhanced financial profile of the new Tech Data, delivering strong earnings growth, generating cash flow, and return on invested capital. As we look ahead, we will remain disciplined in managing our growth and pursuing opportunities aligned with our strategy of moving to higher value.

In support of this, we're focused on the following. First, remixing our portfolios by de-selecting less profitable, capital-intensive businesses in order to enhance our financial profile and free up capital to invest in higher return opportunities. Second, continuing to optimize our cost structure in order to maintain our position as a low-cost, variable route to market. And, third, as great stewards of capital, we're focused on working capital management and cash generation in order to accelerate our strategy. Achieving this, we believe, will deliver industry-leading returns on invested capital and continue to create significant value for our shareholders.

I'll now turn the call over to Chuck for a detailed discussion of our Q3 financials and our outlook for Q4.

Charles V. Dannewitz -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Rich. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us today. As Rich mentioned, we are very pleased with our Q3 results and with the strong execution throughout our regions.

Worldwide sales came in ahead of the high end of our guidance, reaching $9.3 billion, an increase of 11%, and 12% in constant currency. Worldwide gross profit came in at $557 million, an increase of 6%. Worldwide gross margin was 5.96% compared to 6.23% in the prior-year quarter. The year-over-year decline is primarily due to a higher mix of endpoint solutions, as well as a decline in the margin profile of advanced solutions. However, it's important to note that our continued focus on disciplined pricing and profitable sales resulted in a modest gross margin improvement from Q2, our first sequential gross margin improvement in five quarters.

Non-GAAP SG&A expenses, which exclude $23 million of acquisition-related intangibles and amortization expense, decreased $22 million or 6%. As a percentage of sales, non-GAAP SG&A expenses declined 67 basis points. We want to highlight that included in SG&A is a $25 million benefit related to the collection of a previously reserved accounts receivable.

Worldwide non-GAAP operating income was $188 million, up $52 million or 39%. Non-GAAP operating margin improved 40 basis points to 2.01%. Excluding the accounts receivable recovery, non-GAAP operating income increased by $27 million or 20% and non-GAAP operating margin improved 14 basis points, primarily due to the enhanced operating leverage from higher sales volumes.

Our GAAP effective tax rate in Q3 was 2%. This includes a $24 million decrease in our provisional estimate of the one-time transition tax related to U.S. tax reform. This revised estimate is primarily due to further analysis of the earnings and profit of our foreign subsidiaries and utilization of foreign tax credits. We will finalize the amount of the one-time transition tax during our fourth quarter. Our non-GAAP effective tax rate in Q3 was 26%.

Non-GAAP net income was $116 million, an increase of $40 million or 52%, and non-GAAP earnings per diluted share increased 51% to $3.02. The accounts receivable recovery favorably impacted net income by approximately $18 million, or $0.47 per diluted share.

Turning now to our regional results, the Americas region posted excellent growth, with sales reaching $4.1 billion, an increase of 13%. The region's SMB sales division grew 23%, its 13th straight quarter of 20%+ growth. Sales were fueled by double-digit growth in PC systems, networking, storage, cloud, analytics, and hyperconverged products. The Americas' non-GAAP operating income was $125 million, an increase of $39 million or 46%, and as a percentage of sales, improved 68 basis points to 3.01%. The accounts receivable recovery favorably impacted the Americas' operating income by $25 million.

Our European region also reported strong growth, with sales reaching $4.9 billion, an increase of 9% and 12% in constant currency. The growth in Europe was broad-based across the region, fueled by sales of notebooks, networking, storage, servers, cloud, and mobility. Europe's non-GAAP operating income grew to $66 million, an increase of 24%, and as a percentage of sales, improved 16 basis points.

And in our Asia Pacific region, sales increased 6% to $282 million and 12% in constant currency, fueled by networking, servers, storage, and next-gen technologies. Non-GAAP operating income in Asia Pac grew 18% to $5 million, and as a percentage of sales, improved 17 basis points.

Turning now to some of our balance sheet and cash flow metrics. The combination of our higher-velocity product mix and our teams' continued focus on working capital resulted in a cash conversion cycle of 18 days, equal to Q2 and lower by five days compared to the prior-year quarter. We generated $155 million of operating cash flow in Q3 and we exited the quarter with a cash balance of $646 million.

During Q3, we paid off an additional $100 million of our long-term bank debt and we ended the quarter with a strong capital and liquidity profile. And for the trailing 12 months, we earned an adjusted return on invested capital of 12%, above our weighted average cost of capital of approximately 9%.

In October, we announced a $200 million share repurchase program. In Q3, we purchased approximately 621,000 shares for $44 million at an average cost of $70.48 per share. We'll continue to maintain a disciplined approach in how we allocate our capital, investing in organic growth, accelerating our strategies through selective M&A, and returning cash to shareholders through share repurchases, the mix and pace of which will vary depending on the opportunities available in the market.

And, finally, the amount and timing of the one-time cost and savings related to our global business optimization program, which we announced last quarter, remain unchanged.

Turning now to our guidance for the fourth quarter ending January 31, 2019, as we look ahead to the fourth quarter, we anticipate good demand trends to continue, with sales to be in the range of $10.5 billion to $10.9 billion and non-GAAP earnings per share to be in the range of $3.90 to $4.20. This guidance assumes an effective tax rate in the range of 24% to 26%. This guidance also assumes an average U.S. dollar to Euro exchange rate of $1.15 to one Euro.

We would now like to open it up to questions. Operator?

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. We will now begin the question-and-answer session. If you would like to ask a question, please press "*1" on your phone. You may press "*2" if you would like to remove your question from the queue. For participants using speaker equipment, it may be necessary to pick up your handset before pressing "*". One moment, please, while we poll for our first question.

Thank you. Our first question comes from the line of Matt Sheerin with Stifel. Please proceed with your question.

Matthew Sheerin -- Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. -- Analyst

Yes, thank you and good morning. My first question just regarding your strong revenue and your guidance, which looks seasonal, maybe a little bit below seasonal versus last year, but still good guidance in light of some macro concerns and also concerns with your biggest smartphone supplier, in terms of production cuts. So, where are you seeing the growth? And particularly on the commodity side, the client device side, are you continuing to see PC upgrade cycle? Any thoughts there?

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

Yes, Matt, good morning. This is Rich. Thank you for your question. As it relates to the quarter and the market, the demand was very broad. So, as you know, we tend to look at our business in segments of endpoint and advanced solutions and I would tell you that there was strong growth in both of those segments. I think that if we take a look at this year, from my point of view, it's been a bit of an unprecedented year as it relates to demand. When I was sitting here at this time last year, we thought it could be marketing around 3% but it's far greater than that. And you all probably have your own estimates but I think it's north of 5%, 6% in total, which is quite big.

Again, in my experience in the past, there's always been shorts and longs when we see strength in the market. But generally speaking, the strength has been uniform. You could take it by geography. Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, all have a fairly robust demand. And then even by product segment, the PC ecosystem stuff seems to be very strong, the data center stuff in the new technologies is strong, and then even some of the legacy categories of data center have demonstrated strength over the recent past. So, demand fairly robust.

Your question as it relates to Apple, in particular. So, as you know, it is a large part of our business. However, when you take a look at that entire portfolio, phones are not the overwhelming part of the portfolio. We've got a good blend of all Apple represented there. And so we had a very good phone quarter in 3Q and we would anticipate that, as we look into 4Q, our forecast is our best judgment as to what we'll get done with the type of demand that we are estimating in the market.

Matthew Sheerin -- Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. -- Analyst

Okay. Great. That's quite helpful. And then regarding your advanced solutions business -- the tech solutions, the Avnet legacy business, if you will -- where it looks like you did have some early hiccups. It sounds like you're gaining traction. You talked about strength in data center. Your big competitor there, though, has been talking about significant share gains against you but it looks like you're growing that business. Could you give us more granularity into what that business is looking like, in terms of revenue run rate and margin profile now?

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, sure. Just to kind of reflect back for one moment, as you know, we had a data center business at Tech Data. We had acquired the TS asset and combined both of those entities. And as we had talked on the previous call, we were on an 18-month march of integration. And as you're on that 18-month march of integration, you're getting organizations in place, leadership in place, and getting the IT systems all sort of aligned and connected, etc. All of that is now behind us. And I fundamentally believe that, when you have the opportunity to spend more time focused on the business and not having to worry about bringing these two things together, it just adds more management time around the execution.

I would tell you that that business grew high single-digit in total. It would be both the legacy Tech Data business as well as the TS business. And we feel very good about how we compete in the market. Things could ebb and flow over time but we like our hand, we like our portfolio, and we're out in the market competing and we think we can do so in a pretty effective manner.

Matthew Sheerin -- Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. -- Analyst

Okay. Thank you very much.

Operator

Our next question is from the line of Adam Tindle with Raymond James.

Adam Tindle -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Okay. Thanks and good morning. I just wanted to start on profit dollar growth. I know that's a key focus. The double-digit operating profit dollar growth we're seeing in the back half of the year is pretty stark when we compare it to the declines of one of your primary value competitors that they're seeing in the ECS business. So, I'm hoping, first, you can maybe touch on the difference of what you're executing versus your competitors. And, second, is the double-digit operating profit dollar growth something you think you could sustain? Because I think you mentioned de-selecting business. So, maybe just talk about the buckets to sustaining this double-digit operating profit dollar growth trend.

Charles V. Dannewitz -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure, Adam, this is Chuck and thanks for your question. We did have good -- we had 20% operating income growth this quarter ex the collection of the AR receivable. So, we did have good operating income growth. We're projecting good operating income growth in our Q4 guidance. If you look back at the beginning of the year and you look back at what we said we thought we were going to accomplish when we gave our modeling assumptions, we said we were going to be pretty much in flat to low single digits and most of it being back-half loaded. And I think that's what you're seeing. We said it was going to be lighter in the first part of the year, more robust in the second part of the year, and that's what we're delivering on.

Lots of puts and takes. I mean, we said low single-digit growth. We've experienced higher growth than that. We've had mix and margin and other puts and takes. But at the end of the day, we're delivering on very close, very consistent to that model assumptions that we gave at the beginning of the year. So, I think that's how we're going to respond to your question, that it is more robust in the second half of the year.

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

And, Adam, as it relates to the portfolio, right now there is good demand in the market and our teams are taking advantage of those opportunities. We are very focused on making sure that we're providing the portfolio that our customer set requires. Yet at the same time, we're also very focused on making sure that we have an adequate return on what we do. And if there are instances where that return kind of hits the limit of acceptability, we will take action to either move on from that particular customer or that particular product set and go spend our time elsewhere. I think that, as we move through time, we continue to get better and better at this and I think that it is reflecting in our results and will continue to reflect in our results.

Again, I'd like to kind of harken back to what I had said earlier. Once you have the opportunity to put the entire team on the field and not have the distractions of an integration, it frees up a lot more time to focus on execution. We're a $26 billion entity. We acquired a $10 billion entity. It required a lot of management time. But we're ready to go and we really feel like we've got the right management team on the field, we've got the right set of processes and execution and operational management systems in place, and we're off executing.

Adam Tindle -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Okay. And, Rich, I think one of the other things that you mentioned was optimizing the cost structure in your prepared remarks. I think operating efficiency was obviously a big story to the quarter. SG&A to gross profit dollars, I think, the lowest 3Q ratio ever and most historicals didn't have TS. So, maybe first just talk about how you're able to run a more efficient model despite having the higher margin TS business under the umbrella and then also how you think about a sustainable level of OpEx, whether it's in ratios or dollars or however you want to tackle that. Thank you.

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

Okay. So, first, I want to make sure that we're fully transparent. When you take a look at that OpEx, make sure you're kind of considering that one-time $25 million collection of the receivable. Right? That sort of takes the total OpEx down to a less than a steady-state level, right?

That being said, when you adjust for that item, our OpEx is still competitive. We're still actually driving productivity from an E-to-R perspective on the OpEx line. And it's a couple of things. You heard us talk about our strategy at the investor conference. We told you that we're steadfastly focused on digitally transforming our enterprise end-to-end. That's bigger than just StreamOne. It is kind of going through every one of our processes through time -- it's a journey -- and making sure that we're using digital capabilities to get ultimate productivity out of those processes.

So, that work is under way and the teams, frankly, have been focused at Tech Data for decades on driving productivity. So, we set our goals and objectives for the year from a productivity perspective and we go and execute and drive them. So, that's kind of how we get it done internal to our management system. And we would anticipate that, as we move forward, the productivity will continue.

I would point to the GBO program. Just to refresh on the GBO, we said that we would take out $70 million of cost and we'd reinvest approximately half of that, 60% percent of that would be delivered by the end of the 2020 fiscal and then the remaining 40% would rollover into fiscal '21. I know that there are some that feel as if the schedule should be more aggressive but this isn't just cost take-out by slashing and burning but rather cost take-out by actually providing the tools through digital transformation to do it actually more productively and more customer-effectively while moving through that process.

Adam Tindle -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Thank you.

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah.

Operator

Our next question is from the line of Param Singh with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Please proceed with your questions.

Param Singh -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Hi. Thanks for taking my question. So, firstly, I want to talk about the operating margin in Europe. You guys saw a very strong improvement sequentially despite seasonal revenue growth there. Could you delineate some of the moving pieces? Was it more volume related, mix, lower competition versus what you had faced, some of the reversal from the Avnet AGD business headwind that you had previously? I do understand that having free management time can help productivity but if you could give some color, that would be great.

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

So, look, I'll start and then I'll hand it over to Chuck. If you reflect back on the last three or four calls that we've had, we've talked about a competitive environment and we talked about making some changes to be able to respond to that competitive environment. So, I think that, again, the teams are very focused on how to optimize around the more profitable parts of our portfolio. We're focused on actually driving a more balanced growth between our advanced segment and our endpoint segment, where the margins are healthier overall, as you know. Then we're also focused through the GBO on our productivity, to be able to carry out what we do on a more productive basis such that we free up some costs to offset some of those margin declines that we had seen in the first two quarters of this year.

So, I think it's a combination of all of those things. We run the company on one strategy and we're all focused, as I said, on the digital transformation framework across the board. And I think a lot of what we have put in place now is beginning to pay dividends. So, we've got a great management team over there and they know how to adjust. We've always talked about Tech Data adjusts to the circumstance. And sometimes adjusting to the circumstance doesn't happen right within the quarter. As you all know, although we like to consider ourselves a speedboat, we still take a bit of time to make the turn. That being said, we've demonstrated over time that we are resilient and can adjust and I think you see that manifesting itself in our results

Param Singh -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Thanks, Rich. Really, really appreciate that detail. As my follow-up, I just wanted to dive in on some of the China tariff issues here. Do you think there might have been some sort of pull-in in the Americas ahead of potential China tariffs? And do you think we might see some sort of demand fall-off in the U.S. if we do go out and post 25% tariffs on laptops and related products?

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

So, just to be as honest as I can be as it relates to this question. First, let me comment on our recently reported quarter. We actually saw an immaterial benefit associated with tariff. We talked before about the fact that, as to where we sit in the supply chain, it offers a bit of an opportunity. Again, I would be a bit repetitive in saying that it was a really immaterial benefit but there was some benefit there.

As it relates to your question on demand being pulled forward, certainly I would speculate that some of that occurs but I can't tell you that it's an overriding theme that's visible to us or we've been made aware of. And then as it relates to the first quarter, we've spent a lot of time over the last day or two preparing for answering this question on what will happen with the tariffs in the first quarter. And as you know, there isn't a lot of certainty as to what will happen with tariffs in January. We do know that some of the commodities that are incorporated into the PCs potentially are on the list of things that get tariffed. However, a lot of the content that we sell at the top level are not on those lists. But those lists are subject to change.

So, it's sort of a bit of a moving target. I would tell you that, in working with our vendors, they all now are very focused on -- allow me to use the word "tariff engineering" to take advantage of moving their supply chains into optimal positions and taking advantage of optimizing around the set of rules they think will be put in place. So, my view is that there will be some impact but it's very hard to say how much and when and in what segment based on the fact that this thing continues to move around.

Param Singh -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Got it. But you should have some sort of flexibility in passing along cost if you had to incur some of those tariff-related pricing from your OEMs?

Charles V. Dannewitz -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Param, this is Chuck. Yes. We definitely have contracts with some of our larger customers where we do have price actions that are available to us for the tariffs. And, in general, we would pass on those costs to our customers. Really, it's the demand elasticity that's the question on the tariffs, not really whether we can pass the costs along.

Param Singh -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Thank you so much, Chuck, Rich. Appreciate it.

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

Sure.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Jim Suva with Citi. Please proceed with your questions.

James Suva -- Citigroup -- Analyst

Thank you, Chuck and Rich. I have two questions and I'll ask them at the same time and you can choose to answer them in order. But, first of all, the operating margin improvement this quarter, the sales much better than expected this quarter, it's a very stark and nice change from, say, the past two, three, four quarters. What really were the couple of key things that allowed you to kind of really turn on the gas, put your foot on the pedals, and really just see it flow through to both the sales and bottom line?

And then my second question is on the accounts receivable recovery, was that fully recovered? Is there still more to come in the quarters ahead? I assume it was one customer and I assume the accounting works so that it doesn't impact your sales, it just impacts your profitability. Thank you.

Charles V. Dannewitz -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Right. Jim, this is Chuck. Let me take the last one first. The recovery of the $25 million is related to a customer that we obtained in the TS acquisition and we secured the payment this quarter that we previously thought was uncollectable. So, we do not anticipate any further recovery. We are paid in full and so it will have no impact on future quarters.

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

And then, Jim, as it relates to your second question, there is a couple of points that I would like to make. First and foremost, the overlying demand in the market is strong. So, there's lots of opportunity or lots of at-bats, if you will, as it relates to what's available out there to compete for.

Second is -- and I don't want to dwell on this -- but second is the acquisition and having that integration complete and focusing our management time just purely based on our business and execution of our strategy and execution of the quarter or the year is of the highest priority now, where my time had to be previously traded off.

Third, I think we have the most outstanding portfolio in the industry. You go through any vendor list at the top of this IT market and we have a relationship with the overwhelming predominance of those vendors. And we've got great relationships with them. So, we come together globally to determine what we want to accomplish and then we go and engage our geographic teams and get them aligned with those plans. In some instances, we jointly invest in executing those plans. And right now, the teams are off and getting it done.

As you know, when you pull a new organization together of the size and scale that we did with the Avnet TS, it takes a bit of time to get the management teams settled in. It takes a bit of time to get the account coverage settled in. And as I commented on the last call, all of that is behind us. So, my personal view is that that has a big impact on our ability here to execute most optimally moving forward.

Charles V. Dannewitz -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

And, Jim, this is Chuck. Just one further comment and that is this really shows the leverage that goes into our operating model when we have strong top-line growth and we contain our costs. We did an excellent job on cost containment. You're going to see that drop to the bottom line and produce great operating margins. We also saw a firming of our endpoint solutions margins during the quarter. So, really, an excellent job by the team.

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. We oftentimes, Jim, on these calls spend time talking about our earnings, which is absolutely appropriate. It's a very, very critical metric. But I have to tell you that I'm also proud of the team's execution on the capital side and the cash side. We, as our primary metric, are always focused on return on invested capital. And if you reflect back on the last quarter, perhaps we were viewed to be a bit short on the earnings we delivered but if you go to inspect the execution of capital management, cash management, and return on invested capital, they've always been the stalwarts of our business and remain strong.

And we take all of our decisions as it relates to running and executing our business with the blend of earnings, capital deployment, and cash management in mind. So, we try to maintain a sound and disciplined approach to the market. And what I tell the team all the time is that we want to be hungry but humble. And so that's our approach to the market.

James Suva -- Citigroup -- Analyst

Thank you so much for the details and additional clarification. That's greatly appreciated.

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

You're welcome.

Operator

Our next question is from the line of Sean Hannan with Needham & Company. Please proceed with your questions. Mr. Hannan, please proceed with your questions.

Sean Hannan -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Sorry. Yeah, sorry, the mute function was on. So, thanks for taking the question here. Just wanted to ask, it was interesting to hear the commentary that there's been a fair amount of solid demand that's been relatively consistent in some of the more legacy enterprise and storage areas. I want to get a little bit more commentary around that, either in terms of what you've observed to date or any perspectives and views as this kind of moves forward into 2019. Thanks.

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, this is Rich. Thanks for the question. And I want to represent this as my point of view and maybe it's somewhat anecdotal but I think it's directionally correct. If you were to reach back into '15, '16, arguably part of '17 calendar years, there was a lot of strain within the data center set around Intel-based servers as well as storage -- two examples -- where those categories, perhaps from a market perspective, had moderate declines. As it relates to the current year, in '18, we see growth in those categories, not only for Tech Data but for the market in total. Now, you might ask yourself, well, what's behind that? And I'll give you my point of view.

I think there are three things behind it. No. 1 is the legacy categories have transitioned themselves to be highly much more efficient and productive. I'll use the case of servers in the data center and hyperconverged technology. Or I should say not servers but the entire stack of data center hardware and hyperconverged technology. That sort of narrowed the gap, if you will, between public cloud and private cloud deployments.

Second, and most profoundly, I think that this whole idea of cloud and what will be in the public domain, what will be in the private domain, has sorted itself. And, again, anecdotally, I think there was a bit of a pent-up demand within data center acquisition until enterprises sorted how they wanted to actually construct their architect, if you will, their data center needs going forward. So, I think that a) with the legacy stuff moving into the modern world through things like hyperconverged and software-defined and being highly more efficient, b) the adaptation of the market toward hybrid cloud as being the long-term approach here now, so there's going to be a life of both the on-prem and off-prem coexisting as we move forward. So, those declines then that happened in the previous year were clearly unable to, if you will, shift based on those changes.

And then, of course, just the overlying market being strong is also a contributor to, I think, those categories being picked back up.

Sean Hannan -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

I think a lot of that commentary makes a lot of sense and I certainly appreciate that. It feels like this is something that has a little bit of a dead cat bounce to it, some rationalization, and at least some moderate improvement going forward. It sounds like, from your commentary, Rich, that you probably generally agree with that?

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

Yes. That would be my point of view that I represent as well.

Sean Hannan -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. And then -- so, if I could switch gears over to security, can you talk a little bit more in terms of the portfolio that you have there and where is your comfort level with what you're offering to your client base of resellers, general bars, the services you're providing, the OEMs that you're being able to provide access to? Can you provide a little bit more commentary around the direction of this piece of the portfolio and comfort today? Thanks.

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So, top-line message is our security portfolio is in transition. So, what do I mean by that? When you take a look at our install base, if you will, what we've sold in the past, because of our legacy business, it had been more aligned around the PC ecosystem. As we look forward, and where we're really building our business, is we really want to shift or remix that portfolio more toward the data center-type security offerings. The higher-value offerings, if you will.

When you take a look at our line card, it's as strong as anyone's within our domain and we've got the right set of relationships in place. And we are currently investing as one of our priorities to build out that, allow me to use the words "value security portfolio," by adding a lot of specialization internal to our organization. I think you're probably well aware that the traditional sellers within the data center footprint aren't the folks that can go and sell security solutions. And when we look at the higher value categories, those type of offerings are very analytics intensive. And rather than use the approach of a firewall technique, it's more of they've entered our domain and how do we quickly find them through the use of analytics. So, those are sort of the type of offerings that we're building out within the portfolio.

I'd tell you we've got work to do here. We are not where we would like to be. And when we have our annual plan discussions as we position ourselves for FY '20, we're going to be incrementing, if you will, the investment we're making in this category to really more robustly build that data center category.

Sean Hannan -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Thanks so much for taking my questions, folks. Good luck.

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. As a reminder, to ask a question, you may press "*1". Our next question is from the line of Keith Housum with Northcoast Research. Please proceed with your questions.

Keith Housum -- Northcoast Research -- Analyst

Good morning, gentlemen. Can you hear me OK?

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

Yes.

Keith Housum -- Northcoast Research -- Analyst

Appreciate it. I'm actually sitting in the airport.

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, Keith.

Keith Housum -- Northcoast Research -- Analyst

Good morning. Congratulations on a good quarter.

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Keith Housum -- Northcoast Research -- Analyst

Chuck, I wanted to follow up on a comment I believe you made in terms of talking about gross margins and a decline in advanced solutions gross margins. I just want to understand if that's just kind of a natural decline in the business as it matures or maybe you can provide some more color around those thoughts.

Charles V. Dannewitz -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. No, really the comment was more on the stabilization of the gross margins on our endpoint solutions. And then the mix, the higher mix of endpoint solutions as compared to advanced, and then we continued to see a decline on a year-over-year basis on our advanced, whereas it did not occur on our endpoint solutions. It firmed up on a year-over-year basis on endpoint. So, still very pleased and we're moving forward but it's just really a year-over-year comment.

Keith Housum -- Northcoast Research -- Analyst

Okay. Is that more driven by product-specific or customer-specific transactions or just maturing of the market?

Charles V. Dannewitz -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

It's really across the board on all of it. It's really a reset that we saw earlier in the year on some of the price competitiveness in the AS market. So, it's really a year-over-year compare and we just wanted to point it out.

Keith Housum -- Northcoast Research -- Analyst

Okay. I appreciate that. And just a little bit of housekeeping. In terms of your guidance for the fourth quarter, does that assume that you guys will complete your share repurchase transaction during the quarter?

Charles V. Dannewitz -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

We're not giving guidance in regards to the pace of which we're going to perform our share repurchase. We do have a plan in place at various share levels. I will say this: that it has an immaterial impact on the amount of our earnings guidance on the share count.

Keith Housum -- Northcoast Research -- Analyst

Okay. Great. That's all I've got. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. This concludes Tech Data Corporation's Fiscal Year 2019 Third Quarter Earnings Conference Call. A replay of the call will be available in about one hour at techdata.com. Thank you for attending today's conference call and have a great day.

Duration: 53 minutes

Call participants:

Arleen Quinones -- Vice President of Investor Relations

Rich Hume -- Chief Executive Officer

Charles V. Dannewitz -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Matthew Sheerin -- Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. -- Analyst

Adam Tindle -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Param Singh -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

James Suva -- Citigroup -- Analyst

Sean Hannan -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Keith Housum -- Northcoast Research -- Analyst

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