Market News

AUSTIN, TX – National Instruments reported first-quarter net income plunged 98% to $358,000, compared to $17.6 million last year. Revenue for the quarter fell 18% from last year to $15.8 million.
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SAN FRANCISCO – The California EPA’s Department of Toxic Substance Control on Apr. 29-30 will hold its first meeting for developing its own chemical regulatory framework.

The regulation must be developed by Jan. 1, 2011.

The public is invited to attend the meeting, which will be held in Sacramento, either in person or via Webcast; public comment will be taken in response to initiatives discussed.

The panel will provide advice and act as a resource to DTSC and the California Environmental Policy Council, which directs DTSC to 1) create analytical methods for safer chemical alternatives, and 2) identify and prioritize chemicals of concern.

To attend, contact Randi Jorgensen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Also, Design Chain Associates and Gradient Corp. will present a free Webinar at 1 PM EDT on May 19 titled Strategies for Substance Replacement in Products. Visit www.designchainassociates.com.

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – Notebooks using HDI boards will significantly increase in 2010, reports DigiTimes. Notebook makers are looking at the benefits of the boards, as consumer demand for ultra-slim products rises.
 
Requests for HDI boards for thin-film transistor (TFT) panels began about two months ago, according to DigiTimes, and has prompted sample development.
 
Although interest has recently grown, in the short term, 8-layer PCBs are expected to remain dominant in TFT panels due to cost.
HELSINKI – Nokia Corp. plans to streamline operations, as its first-quarter net profit dove 90% and sales fell 27%. As part of the cost-saving measures, the company will cut up to 450 jobs worldwide. 
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NEW YORK -- L-3 Communications reported a first-quarter net sales increase of 4%, with sales of $3.6 billion compared to $3.5 billion for the first quarter of 2008. Earnings per share increased 10%.

“L-3 had a good start to the year,” said Michael T. Strianese, chairman, president and CEO of L-3 Communications. “We grew sales, operating income, diluted EPS and cash flow, and continued to deploy the company’s cash flow to increase shareholder value. During the quarter we acquired Chesapeake Sciences Corporation for $87 million, repurchased $232 million of our common stock, and paid cash dividends of $42 million. We also increased our quarterly cash dividend by 17% to $0.35 per share.”

Consolidated net sales increases were driven by growth in the Command, Control, Communication, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C3ISR) segment, and in the Specialized Products segment. Included in the increase in sales is a 2% increase from acquired businesses.  

Funded orders for the 2009 first quarter decreased 8% to $3.8 billion compared to $4.1 billion from the 2008 first quarter. Funded backlog increased slightly to $11.7 billion at March 27, 2009 from $11.6 billion at Dec. 31, 2008.

ST. PAUL, MN -- 3M announced first-quarter sales of $5.1 billion, down 21.3% year-over-year. Net income was $518 million, or $0.74 per share, down 48.2% compared to first quarter 2008.

“As expected, the global economic slowdown dramatically affected our businesses in the first quarter,” said George W. Buckley, 3M chairman, president and CEO. “Substantial end-market declines and continued inventory takedowns in major industries, including automotive, consumer electronics and general industrial manufacturing… In 2009, we will enhance our balance sheet by improving our free cash flow while still maintaining a significant investment in R&D. Our strategy will strengthen the company and position us for even greater success when global economies recover.”

3M has cut its outlook, now expecting 2009 organic sales volume to decline between 11% and 15%. The previous assumption called for a decline of 5% to 9%. 3M expects 2009 full-year earnings to be in the range of $3.90 to $4.30 per share, down from a previous range of $4.30 to $4.70.

In the Electro and Communications business segment, sales declined 34.8% to $480 million. Local-currency sales was down 29.8% due to significant double-digit declines in the electronics, semiconductor, telecommunications and appliance markets. Operating profits for the segment were down 84% to $24 million.

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