Laser Industry Report

Feb. 1, 2001
Brush Engineered Materials spins off new business; Cymer sounds note of caution; AXT discontinues laser-diode product line and consumer business ...
Brush Engineered Materials spins off new businessThe electronic products division of Brush Engineered Materials (Cleveland, OH) has been spun into a new company called Zentrix Technologies Inc., consisting of three business groups. The electronic-packaging products group (Newburyport, MA) manufactures RF packaging solutions and direct-bond copper substrates for wireless and fiberoptic applications. The circuits-processing technology group (Oceanside, CA) produces ceramic substrates for advanced wireless and fiberoptic telecommunications infrastructures, both medical and military. The powder-metallurgy products group (Tucson, AZ) fabricates copper/tungsten composites and functionally graded material for fiberoptic components, microwave and millimeter-wave metal ceramic packages and assemblies.Cymer sounds note of cautionDuring the fourth quarter of 2000, direct customers of Cymer (San Diego, CA) were not shipping and installing their lithography systems as aggressively as they had forecasted, which led to a lower number of systems installed at chipmakers. The lower installation rate for steppers and scanners led to increased inventories of Cymer light sources at its customers during the quarter. According to CFO William Angus, until Cymer's direct customers can demonstrate increased installation rates at chipmakers, Cymer is becoming more cautious about its anticipated growth rate for the first half of 2001.AXT discontinues laser-diode product line and consumer businessAXT Inc. (Fremont, CA) is discontinuing its laser-diode and consumer-product lines in 2001 in order to focus on its core businesses. "Over the past year, we have experienced tremendous growth in our gallium-arsenide and indium-phosphide substrate businesses; successfully launched our new high-brightness blue, green and cyan LED products; and introduced vertical-cavity-surface-emitting-laser (VCSEL) wafers and chips," said Morris Young, president and CEO. "We are very encouraged by the market demand for our products, and believe that by focusing our efforts in these core areas, we can most effectively utilize our resources for continued expansion," he said.Laser Technology reports FY2000 sales recordLaser Technology Inc. (Englewood, CO) reported a net income of $341,412 (or $0.07 per basic share) on record net sales of $12,720,299 for the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2000. These results compared with a net loss of $2,386,105 (or $0.48 per basic share) and net sales of $11,814,654 in FY1999. "We are pleased with the growth of revenues in our domestic survey and mapping division, which can be attributed to the restructuring of our sales force," commented Eric Miller, president and CEO. "Our renewed strength in that business segment has also allowed us to provide improved service and support to our domestic dealers and a stronger presence at associated trade shows."fiberSpace raises $12.1 million in first-round fundingLast month, fiberSpace Inc. (Los Angeles, CA), a supplier of laser sources for optical fiber communications, announced an agreement to sell approximately $12.1 million of series A redeemable-convertible preferred stock to J.P. Morgan Capital, L.P, and one of its affiliates, and Morgenthaler Partners VI, L.P. The preferred stock is convertible into common stock of fiberSpace, subject to certain adjustments. Leonardo Berezovsky, president and CEO of fiberSpace, said, "We are gratified by the support of these two highly respected venture capital firms and their confidence in our technology and products under development."Also in the news . . .Opto Power Corp. (OPC; Tucson, AZ), has been renamed Spectra-Physics Semiconductor Lasers. . . . The listing for barcode and scanning equipment supplier PSC Inc. (Rochester, NY) was transferred last month to the Nasdaq SmallCap Market from the Nasdaq National Market. . . . Last month Northrop Grumman (Los Angeles, CA) announced an agreement to acquire Litton Industries (Woodland Hills, CA) for $5.1 billion.

Hassaun A. Jones-Bey

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