HELSINKI, FINLAND - Nokia may be facing weakening cell phone demand. Analysts noted the demand for printed circuit boards to meet wireless phone requirements is down. Many of these products are supplied by Asian manufacturers including Compeq.
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ANAHEIM, CA - DDi Corporation's board of directors has authorized the repurchase of an additional 400,000 shares of stock, bringing the total from 1.1 to 1.5 million shares, the company said Friday.

According to a DDi company release, the additional repurchase will be made in the open market or through private transactions, and that the authorization has no expiration date but can be modified or discontinued at any time.

RIYADH - Motorola Inc. has reported that is has won a $335 million contract with Zain in Saudi Arabia to deploy and manage a mobile phone network.
Zain, which operates mobile services in over 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East, will reportedly start operations this year, having paid $6.1 billion for its mobile license in Saudi Arabia.

"We look forward to the launch of Zain in Saudi Arabia and to offer our customers in the Kingdom the voice quality and innovative data communication services that they have come to expect from our networks throughout the region," said Dr. Marwan Alahmadi, CEO of Zain Saudi Arabia.

In January, Zain Saudi Arabia also gave Nokia Siemens a $935 million contract for a mobile network.

The two contracts will provide a network capable of managing up to 8 million mobile phone users, Ahmadi said.

"With Motorola's solid understanding of our business objectives, we are confident that the company can deliver the services we need, efficiently, on time and cost effectively, to launch Zain's mobile communications  to customers in Saudi Arabia. Motorola's experience encourages us to believe that we will meet our challenging targets here," he added.

Network deployment is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2008. Zain's Saudi customers will reportedly also have access to high-speed mobile Internet access and multi-media applications and services.
WILSONVILLE, OR – Mentor Graphics Corporation announced its fiscal 2008 fourth quarter revenue of $284.8 million, with annual revenue of $879.7 million.

“Mentor’s focus on building number one positions in the market has enabled it to continue to thrive and helped drive our record fourth quarter revenue and earnings,” said Walden C. Rhines, company chairman and CEO.

During the quarter, Mentor Graphics and Cadence Design Systems delivered the Open Verification Methodology (OVM), and the company's Veloce emulator was picked as one of the Hot 100 products of 2007 by EDN magazine. The company also hosted its 6th annual Integrated Electrical Solutions Forum in Detroit, with representatives from North America’s automotive OEMs and suppliers. According to the company, bookings from automotive customers climbed 25%, to become approximately 10% of the total for the company.

“The company executed well in fiscal 2008, and we are positioned to continue to outperform the market in fiscal 2009,” said Gregory K. Hinckley, Mentor Graphics president. “Additionally, we have tightened our focus on cost controls, and have taken a number of actions... to provide a more competitive cost basis going forward.”
ROUND ROCK, TX - Dell Computer has reported fiscal fourth-quarter results below analyst's expectations. Dell reported profit for fiscal Q4 of $679 million, or 31cents a share, 14% below the 36 cents analysts had predicted. Sales for the quarter were $16 billion, below the $16.27 billion expected, but up from $14.5 billion year-over-year.

The computer maker blamed turnaround costs, "conservative" consumer spending, and the effort to reverse a sales and market-share decline that led to last year's resignation of former CEO Kevin Rollins.

Dell released a statement saying that it expects to "incur costs as it realigns its business to improve growth and profitability, adversely impacting the company's near-term performance."

The company will reportedly increase customer service, begin selling its products through retail outlets, end direct-to-consumer sales, and reportedly lay off 10% of its workforce, or almost 9,000 jobs.
BANNOCKBURN, IL - The IPC (Association Connecting Electronics Industries) announced the January 2008 findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program.

Rigid PCB shipments were up 5.6% for January, and bookings were up 13.7% year-over-year. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry slipped to 0.97.

Flexible circuit shipments were down 17.9% and bookings were down 20.9% as compared to January 2007. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio declined to 0.96.

For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in January increased 4% year-over-year, and orders booked increased 10.9%. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in January 2008 fell to 0.97.

“The rigid PCB segment showed strong year-over-year growth in January, which is encouraging,” said IPC President Denny McGuirk. “Orders have lagged shipments in both segments of the PCB industry for the past two months, causing book-to-bill ratios to dip slightly below parity, but this should not raise concerns. January is typically a slow month for the industry, and monthly fluctuations like this are normal.”

The book-to-bill ratios are calculated by dividing the value of orders booked over the past three months by the value of sales billed during the same period from companies in IPC’s survey sample. A ratio of more than 1.00 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which is a positive indicator for sales growth over the next two to three months.

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