*Insight Posts Gains in Profits for Fourth Quarter, Year

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Insight Enterprises Inc., the Tempe, AZ-based direct marketer of computers and periphery, posted a 56-percent gain in fourth-quarter profits, to $6.23 million, vs. profits of $4 million in the year-ago fourth quarter. Diluted earnings per share were 24 cents, compared with 16 cents in the year-ago period.


Net sales for the quarter were $297.4 million, up 60 percent from net sales of $186.33 million a year ago.


For the year, which ended Dec. 31, the company reported profits of $20.45 million, up 55 percent from profits of $13.22 million in fiscal 1997. Diluted earnings per share for the year were 81 cents, vs. 55 cents in the preceding year.


Net sales for the year were just over $1 billion, up 60 percent over net sales of $627.74 million in the preceding year.


"Business customers are turning to the direct channel in record numbers," said Tim Crown, president of Insight.


The company said sales from direct marketing represented 93 percent of its net sales for the fourth quarter and 91 percent of net sales for the year.
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