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CDW Sets Sights on $10B in '08
By John Hazard


Direct reseller CDW has set a 2008 target of reaching $10 billion in sales, nearly 60 percent growth, an indication, analysts said, that the company is likely mulling a major acquisition.

In an April 7 letter to investors, CEO John A. Edwardson said the company was striving to the reach the double-digit number by 2008, "through a combination of organic growth and acquisition activity."

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PointerClick here to read CDW CEO John Edwardson's April 7 letter to investors.

The statement leads to speculation the DMR (Direct Market Reseller) may acquire a company with yearly revenue as high as $1.5 billion to $2 billion, said Brian J. Alexander, an IT distribution analyst at financial research firm Raymond James & Assoc., in St. Petersburg, Fla.

"Our view is that CDW may have difficulty maintaining a growth premium due to its lack of robust services capabilities," Alexander said. "With IT seemingly becoming more complex and customers increasingly looking for complete solutions, which include a combination of hardware, software and services, we believe further expansion of the model is ultimately necessary.

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"While the CEO's statement does not suggest they are looking to move in this direction, we are hopeful that such acquisitions address the company's service capabilities."

The $10 billion mark would require 12 to 15 percent growth over the next few years, while projections are for the company to increase revenue approximately 8 percent in 2006 and 9 percent in 2007, Alexander said.

CDW, based in Vernon Hills, Ill., hit $6.3 billion in revenue in 2005, a 9.7 percent increase over 2005. But the company predicted slower growth during the coming year, as the company undertakes several capital improvements, namely the realignment of the corporate sales team to align account managers along geographic lines and the construction of a 513,000-square-foot warehouse near Las Vegas.

     
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