Electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider Flextronics (Singapore) has announced results for its third fiscal quarter ended Dec.31, 2003. Net sales reached a record of $4.15 billion, an increase of 18.5% over the previous quarter, and up 7.8% from Q3 2002.

Pro forma net income was $93.9 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, a sequential increase of 97.6% and a year-on-year increase of 41.9%. Including after-tax amortization expense of $8.6 million, previously announced restructuring costs of $49.5 million and litigation settlement costs of $14.4 million, net income in the third quarter was $21.4 million. Last year, the company recorded a third quarter net loss of $6.5 million.

The quarterly results reflect a number of financial milestones, including record inventory turns of 13 times, a cash conversion cycle of 14 days and selling, general and administrative expense of 2.9% of sales. In addition, pro forma cash flow from operations was $356 million, which excludes approximately $68 million of payments for restructuring and other charges.

"As we begin to realize the earnings leverage imbedded in our business, our financial results will continue to improve," said Michael E. Marks, chief executive officer of Flextronics. "The improved operating results are what we expected to begin to see as we emerge from the technology downturn. While we are pleased that our margins, overall profitability, return on invested tangible capital, and many other financial metrics have improved this quarter, we continue to be completely focused on driving additional improvements in our operating performance."

Marks concluded, "Last week's announcement regarding our discussions with Nortel Networks has the potential to be a major transformational event for Flextronics in many ways. As currently being discussed, it has the potential to be the largest program award in the history of the EMS industry, with revenues exceeding $2 billion per year for Flextronics."

The company has increased its expectations for the March 2004 quarter by 10% for sales and 20% for pro forma earnings per share, to a range of $3.4 to $3.6 billion and $0.09 to $0.11, respectively.

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BP Microsystems (Houston, TX) has announced that they have surpassed the 19,000 device mark in the number of programmable integrated circuit devices their equipment is able to program. Additional support for devices is added three times per week through a software download available from the company's Web site. BP Microsystems' support for devices is a culmination of its 18 years experience in the programming equipment industry.

"We are proud to work closely with the semiconductor manufacturers to not only provide initial support for devices, but also to provide continued support for revisions of those devices," said Loc Ha, Device Support Manager.

New device support is released simultaneously for both engineering and production programmers, making the transition from design to manufacturing as easy as possible.

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Dage Precision Industries (Fremont, CA) has announced a special opportunity for an APEX visitor to win the free use of a XiDAT x-ray system for one year. Dage will award an XD6500 digital x-ray system to one lucky company during the 2004 APEX exhibition and conference in Anaheim, CA.

Show attendees may enter the contest by completing an entry form on Dage's Website prior to the APEX show. Attendees may also visit Dage in booth 1263 during show hours to register before the drawing, which is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26.

The integrated digital image acquisition technology on the x-ray system's platform offers improved digital data processing, enhanced resolution, extensive grayscale definition and the Image Wizard software operating system.

The system offers magnification up to 5800x and feature recognition of less than two microns over the entire 16 x 18 in. inspection area. It achieves high resolution and magnification levels through use of proprietary x-ray tube technology, focusing lens and optimized image chain.

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Indium Corp. (Utica, NY) has announced the availability of a solder research kit. Customers are able to select a collection of solders and fluxes from a list of popular and effective materials. Numerous solder alloys, including several lead-free choices are offered in either wire, ribbon or paste form. A wide range of fluxes is also offered.

Additionally, a comprehensive table of physical properties is included.

Solder research kits allow for the evaluation of several alloys and fluxes prior to specifying solder products in larger quantities.

For more information, visit

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Are you a faculty member in an accredited college or university with a graduate program in engineering, materials science or other field related to microelectronics technology?

Do you have an innovative idea for research that would attract a new graduate student into the microelectronics field?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you may qualify for the $15,000 faculty research grant available from IMAPS' Sidney J. Stein Educational Foundation.

For more information, visit or call Angie Johnson, (202) 548-4001.

The deadline for proposals is April 16, 2004

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The Charles Hutchins Educational Grant, co-sponsored by the Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA, Minneapolis, MN) and Circuits Assembly magazine (Atlanta, GA), was established in memory of past SMTA president and industry colleague Dr. Charles Hutchins.

The $5000 grant is awarded annually to a graduate-level student pursuing a degree and working on thesis research in electronic assembly, electronics packaging or a related field. The grant is intended for the purchase of technical books and research materials, for participation in conferences related to electronics assembly and packaging, and for living expenses if necessary.

To be considered for this award students must submit the entry form, current academic transcripts, an advisor's letter of recommendation, a resume and a one-page thesis research abstract.

Entry materials are due April 15, 2004, after which the SMTA Grant Committee will review all qualified award applications. Once received, the SMTA will look at the following specific criteria: The technical importance within the electronics industry, student transcripts, the clarity with which students are able to define objectives and methodology and qualifications based on the submitted letters of recommendation.

The 2003 Hutchins Grant recipient was Andrew Perkins from Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA). The title of his project is: "Investigating the Combination of High and Low Cycle Fatigue on Solder Joints."

For more information, visit:

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