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Brightpoint shares bask in afterglow of earnings report

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Shares of wireless phone distributor Brightpoint Inc. have shot up more than 28 percent since the Indianapolis company on Wednesday posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates.

At midday Friday, Brightpoint shares traded around $12.25 compared with $9.52 on Wednesday prior to the earnings release.

Sales of $1.1 billion for the quarter were up 24 percent over the prior-year period and above analysts’ $1 billion estimate.

Adjusted income from continuing operations was $24 million, or 34 cents a share, compared with $17.8 million or 22 cents a year ago. Analysts were expecting between 26 cents and 29 cents.

Brightpoint’s fourth quarter was a “blowout,” Merriman Capital analyst Scott Searle said in a new report. He cited unit growth and an accelerating shift to smartphones, which are now about one-third of the mix handled by Brightpoint.

Smartphones can be lucrative in that they can require more extensive programming and packaging services.

Among factors likely to fuel growth this year are Brightpoint’s prospects in Europe that should help drive new logistics business, said a recent report by Oppenheimer & Co.

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