It seems like investors are treating computer hardware and software vendor and Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation CDW (NASDAQ:CDWC) like a year-old flash drive. It's the company's fault, really. It just beat the mean estimate by $0.02, and it has a decade-long history of solid earnings growth and excellent returns on capital. No need to get excited about that, right? I mean, we find those companies all the time.

Third-quarter results look to this Fool like more of the same ho-hum solid performance. Sales were up nearly 11%, with average daily sales growth matching that. Net income ended up growing a bit more than 12% for the quarter. Gross margins improved slightly, and operating margin dropped roughly 30 basis points. A-ha! That must be it! Let's all scramble to avoid this precipitous decline in margins!

OK, enough with the sarcasm. The stock is down on a down day for the markets, and trades lower for the year in what has been a sometimes challenging market for consumer technology stocks not named Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) or Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). From the perspective of someone who doesn't it own it, like me, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

I really didn't see anything in the quarter to get too twisted up about. There was good volume growth across the product lines, and the company's move to create a direct health care team should pay off in the future. I suppose real accounting bookworms might be concerned that the company reclassified some cooperative advertising funds as a reduction in cost of sales, but I'm not going to get too worked up about that.

CDW's emphasis on the service aspect of its business is one of its least appreciated strengths. I mean, let's face it -- anybody can order a PC online, or go down to Office Depot (NYSE:ODP) or Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT). But that sort of approach doesn't work so well in a business setting, where a lot of differing parts and pieces have to function consistently as a whole.

I suppose there's always the threat that IT spending could hit a soft spot, but I'm not too worried about that, either. You can only delay upgrades and new equipment so long, and troubles at companies like Lexmark (NYSE:LXK) apply more to those particular firms than the entire industry. CDW's stock looks pretty interesting now, even assuming a growth rate below near-term consensus. I'm putting this stock on my watch list right away.

Further techno-Foolishness:

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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).