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13 May 2008

A round-up of the latest financial reports from JDSU, Newport, Corning, Cree and more.

Optical communications, test & measurement

• Growth in its commercial lasers and optical communications markets helped boost revenues for JDS Uniphase to $383.9 million for the third quarter of 2008, up from $361 million for the equivalent quarter of the previous year. The company's net loss of $6.2 million was an improvement compared to the $14.2 million loss in Q3 2007, which provided evidence of significant improvements in the company's business model, according to a statement.

Lasers

• First quarter results from Newport showed that the company recorded over $15 million in orders from photovoltaic customers, exceeding the total orders received from customers in this market for the whole of 2007. Photovoltaic sales are included in the company's microelectronics end market, and the significant increases from these customers more than offset the weakness in new orders from semiconductor capital equipment customers within this business segment. The lasers division was said to be making good progress on its operational and profitability improvement initiatives, and reported financial results described as slightly better than expectations. Newport's Q1 sales totalled $115.2 million, an increase of 7.4% over the first quarter of 2007, while net income slipped from $5.3 million to $3.7 million.

Advanced Medical Optics, whose eye care products include Lasik excimer laser systems, reported a rise of 20% in first-quarter sales to $303 million, although net earnings declined to $6.9 million from $12 million in Q1 2007. The company indicated that the soft domestic Lasik market had influenced performance, but that it intended to recover and gain market share.

LCD glass

• Demand for display glass allowed Corning to operate its LCD glass substrate facilities at full capacity during Q1 2008. First-quarter sales for Corning's Display Technologies segment were $829 million, a 58% increase over the first quarter of 2007, a result which was said to be positively impacted by a favourable dollar to yen exchange rate. Total sales for the whole company reached $1.62 billion, up 24% from the equivalent quarter the previous year. Gross margin for the quarter was 52%, said to be an all-time record. Corning expects the global LCD glass market to grow at the upper end of the 25% to 30% range for the remainder of the year.

LEDs

Cree, a supplier of lighting-class LEDs, LED lighting retrofit solutions, and semiconductor solutions for backlighting, wireless and power applications, announced revenue of $125 million for its third quarter of fiscal 2008, a 38% increase compared to same quarter last year. Net income was $5.7 million, compared to $21.1 million for Q3 2007. Revenue growth was led by higher sales of LED components, which exceeded sales of LED chips for the first time according to the company. The acquisition of LED Lighting Fixtures was also singled out as significant for the future. Growth from XLamp LEDs, high-brightness LED components and LED lighting solutions was predicted for the remainder of the year.

Imaging

• Growth across all three market segments for Flir's infrared cameras and thermal imaging systems boosted the company's first quarter revenues to $236 million, a rise of 47% compared to Q1 2007. Net income rose from $26 million to $37 million. The largest growth was shown by the company's commercial vision systems division, where revenues increased by 67% to a record $43.7 million. Revenues from government systems rose 40% to $113 million, while the thermography division was boosted by the acquisitions of Extech and Cedip Infrared Systems and reported 47% growth to $79.5 million.

• Results from PerkinElmer indicated that the company's optoelectronics business posted revenues of $125.7 million for the first quarter 2008, up 22% from the same quarter last year. Growth was driven primarily by revenue growth in the medical imaging and specialty lighting businesses, as well as a positive impact from new product introductions. Revenues for the whole company rose by 20% to $482.3 million, and operating profit increased from $23 million to $36.4 million.

• First-quarter revenues for Tessera rose to $59 million, up from $46 million for the equivalent quarter of 2007 due to demand for the company's chip-scale packaging processes across a range of applications. Net income declined from $11 million to $2.2 million. Continuing convergence of the features found in digital still cameras and cell phone camera modules will be of strategic importance to the company and drive broader adoption of its platform of consumer imaging technologies, according to a statement.

Optical systems

• A slowdown in semiconductor equipment operations and a weak US dollar in the first quarter of 2008 affected results of optical systems developer Linos, whose revenues fell by 2.3% from the same period last year to €23 million ($35 million). Operating profit fell by 23% to €2.4 million ($3.7 million). The company predicts a positive outlook in its health care and life science business, however, and says that it will post significantly improved profits of up to €11 million ($17 million) for 2008 as a whole.

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