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The news at Dense-Pac has been good lately, in the Technology column



Odetics Makes Macau Sale; Wonderware Rolls Out Upgrade

What’s going on at Dense-Pac Microsystems Inc. in Garden Grove?

Only two weeks after the company’s shares jumped 24% to 2.66 on rumors it could be bought by memory maker Micron Technology Inc., Dense-Pac said it needs more hired hands to deal with a big order for its Memory Stack products,a deal valued at $850,000. The company plans to add about 10 people or so to its staff of 110.

The order, from an unnamed “major computer manufacturer,” could improve the sheen of the chip packaging maker.

Dense-Pac designs high-density products that allow its customers to pack large amounts of memory into small spaces.

“Recent order activity indicates some strength is building in our market, and we are hopeful of continued business from this customer,” said Kevin Perry, Dense-Pac’s vice president of sales and marketing, in a statement. “Overall, we are seeing healthy interest in our technology as the need for higher density memory continues to grow, especially in the server and network segments of the market.”

Despite the Micron rumor bounce, Dense-Pac has watched its stock fall nearly 75% off its high a year ago amid the broader technology slowdown. Dense-Pac also has watched its sales and profits tumble. The company reported first quarter revenue of $7.5 million, vs. $11 million for the same period in the previous year. Net earnings for the quarter were $111,000, down from $1.2 million a year ago.

Both Dense-Pac and Micron have kept quiet about the takeover rumor. Micron counts some of the largest computer makers as customers, and a buyout could prove lucrative for beleaguered Dense-Pac shareholders.

But with its own business suffering, Micron may not be in a position to acquire tiny Dense-Pac, which counts $27 million in annual sales.

Also auguring against a deal, Micron recently announced that it instituted a hiring freeze to hold the line on costs. The freeze marks a big change for Micron, which normally hires 100 to 200 people a month.


Odetics Sells TV Gear

Chinese broadcaster Cosmos Satellite Television of Macau plans to acquire a broadcast automation system from a unit of Anaheim’s Odetics Inc. Under the deal, the terms of which weren’t disclosed, Odetics Broadcast plans to supply Cosmos with its AIRO broadcast automation system.

“One of the primary drivers to our re-committing to Odetics is that they have consistently demonstrated their knowledge of designing automated broadcast systems that give us better ways to streamline our operations,” said Yang Guang, director of the broadcast at Cosmos. “We recently won new contracts to provide broadcast services, which fueled the need to put more channels on our system.”

Cosmos first worked with Odetics Broadcast in 1999 when it went live with two channels as the first satellite TV station in Macau. The first project at the station: transmit 72 hours of uninterrupted live programming covering Macau’s official handover to China.


Wonderware Upgrades

Wonderware Corp., a unit of British software company Invensys PLC, released a new version of its FactorySuite 2000 industrial automation software. Manufacturers use the software, which has a graphical user interface similar to Windows, to control of complex factory operations.

The release touts better interface features and execution systems, according to Wonderware. The new version runs on both the Windows 2000 and Windows NT operating systems.


Magic Inks Deal

Magic Software Enterprise, an Israeli software maker with its U.S. headquarters in Irvine, said it has signed a deal with Germany’s BBDO InterOne, a member of the BBDO worldwide network of agencies, to use Magic’s software. BBDO InterOne works with companies to improve efforts to conduct business on the Web and will use Magic’s software in its efforts.

“We selected Magic eService to implement an enhanced customer service strategy after receiving an extensive demonstration of the technology and witnessing the ease with which the system could be adopted and changed depending upon customer requirements,” said Christian Dietrich, general manager of BBDO InterOne.


Exult Sells Shares

Irvine human resources software and consulting company Exult Inc., filed to sell 10 million more shares of common stock. The company said it would use the proceeds for general working capital.

Of the shares, 6.6 million are set to be offered by the company and 3.3 million by selling stockholders. Brokerage Merrill Lynch & Co. is underwriting the offering with Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Salomon Smith Barney Inc. co-managing.

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