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ANGLETON, TX – Benchmark Electronics reported quarterly profits fell 24% on a 3% drop in sales for the period ended Dec. 31.

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HERNDON, VAiNEMI has scheduled a workshop looking RFID tags at the item level.
 
The workshop will be held Feb. 21 in Boston, co-located with the RFID Smart Labels USA 2008 conference.
 
iNEMI’s Item-Level Tag Roadmap attempts to identify the critical technologies and business processes that must be improved to drive adoption of RFID at the item level. This workshop will offer the first opportunity for a broader industry review of the draft document, and will be used to solicit input to, and feedback on, the work done to date. 
 
In particular, the iNEMI RFID team will be looking for feedback on primary barriers (both strategic and tactical) limiting adoption; projected future improvements in key technical and business attributes, and industry efforts recommended to close gaps and accelerate deployment.
 
Registration is free and conference registration is not required. 
 
To register, visit
http://www.inemi.org/cms/calendar/RFID-ILT_RM_Workshop_Feb_08.html.
 
SINGAPORESurface Mount Technology Holdings reported third-quarter revenue was HK$755.6 million, up 19.6% year-over-year. Net loss was HK$3.3 million, down from a profit of HK$10.2 million a year ago.

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WEST BRIDGEWATER, MASunburst EMS announced the purchase of New England Wire Assemblies.

No financial terms of the agreement were disclosed.
 
“The acquisition of New England Wire Assemblies broadens our service portfolio with extensive cable assembly expertise and tooling,” said Andrew Chase, Sunburst president and CEO.
 
New England Wire Assemblies specializes in the production of custom wire harnesses and cable assemblies. The company has provided epoxy custom molded assemblies, discrete wire and multi-conductor cables, connectors for high vacuum applications and other electromechanical assemblies.
 
Sunburst EMS provides contract electronics manufacturing services, including design, prototyping, PCB assembly, conformal coating, box build and supply chain management.
MACAO, CHINANam Tai Electronics reported fourth quarter net sales of $186.9 million, down 18.6% year-over-year. Gross profit was $21 million, a decrease of 4.4% compared to the same quarter of 2006.
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SANTA CLARA, CAAgilent Technologies will showcase its latest test and inspection solutions at Virtual PCB on Feb. 12-13.

A first for Agilent, the virtual trade show permits visitors to view their products from office or home.

Agilent will showcase new products for automated optical inspection, automated x-ray inspection, in-circuit test technology and automotive functional test.

Visitors can interact real-time with booth duty staffers or send questions to the company’s panel of experts.

To register, visit www.virtual-pcb.com.
SCHAUMBURG, ILLenovo yesterday said it plans to sell its failing mobile phone business for $100 million to a private equity firm under its parent, Legend Holdings.
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TORONTO – Celestica Inc. reported fourth quarter revenue slipped 2% from last year to $2.2 billion. The EMS firm’s net loss shrunk to $11.7 million, from $60.8 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31.
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SPOKANE VALLEY, WAKey Tronic Corp. reported December quarter revenue of $50.8 million, up 14% sequentially and 2% last year.
 
Net income was $1.6 million, up from $300,000 a year ago. The results include a gain of approximately $951,000 from the company’s sale of its former facility in Las Cruces, NM.
 
Gross margins were diminished from higher overtime and shipping expenses.
 
In a press release, president and chief executive Jack Oehlke said, “Accelerated customer demand in December caused our revenue to actually exceed expectations. We expect over 10 new customer programs to be generating revenue by the end of the fiscal year” in June.
 
Key Tronic expects March quarter revenue in the range of $49 million to $51 million. Said Oehlke, “In the second half of fiscal 2008, we expect increased revenue and earnings, as well as some improvement in our gross margins.”
WASHINGTON – Under pressure from industry groups, the U.S. EPA has decided to withdraw certain data elements sought under last year’s information collection request for its Toxics Release Inventory rules.

In announcing the revisions, EPA bowed to concerns that many TRI filers were unaware of the proposed changes, which various critics say were hidden within the ICR. IPC, among others, claimed EPA’s proposals should have been conducted through its notice-and-comment rule-making process.

The proposed changes to the TRI forms included collection of small business information, more detailed information on how facilities estimate their data, additional point of contacts, and reasons for withdrawals and revisions.

On behalf of its members, IPC filed comments opposing the changes.
ST. LOUIS – LaBarge Inc. reported second-quarter fiscal 2008 profits were $3.4 million, up 6% compared to last year. Net sales rose 10% year-over-year to $67.1 million. 
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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service will credit corporate taxes paid to the Mexican government while the IRS undertakes a study of that nation’s new corporate tax law.

Mexico's flat tax, called the IETU tax, went into effect Jan. 1. According to the previously issued U.S. IRS Notice 2008-3, the agency has not determined whether the IETU is qualified as an income tax under Article 24(1) of the US-Mexico Tax Treaty and is thus creditable. The agency is studying the new tax to make a determination. 

The U.S. is Mexico's largest trading partner, buying about 80% of all exports.

Agreements are in place with the U.K., Italy, India, South Africa and the Bahamas on the new tax law.

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