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Circuit Board Makers Rise on Outlooks

Shares of two local printed circuit board manufacturers continued their bullish run on Friday, a day after the companies gave rosy outlooks for the current quarter.

Anaheim’s Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc. and Santa Ana-based TTM Technologies Inc. both reported earnings after the close of trading on Thursday.

Multi-Fineline, a maker of flexible circuit boards for cell phones and other mobile devices, gave a positive outlook for the current quarter and said it launched a cost-cutting plan that’s set to save the company roughly $7 million starting at the end of the year.

Investors sent Multi-Fineline’s shares up 8% near the close of New York trading on a recent market value of about $635 million.

“New programs scheduled to ramp in the second half of fiscal 2010 are expected to significantly increase sales during the remainder of the year and give us confidence in our ability to achieve full year net sales growth in 2010,” Chief Executive Reza Meshgin said in a statement. “We continue to believe our competitive position is strong and our market share with our major customers remains stable.”

For the June quarter, Multi-Fineline said it’s looking for sales of $175 million to $195 million, up roughly 6% from the same period a year earlier and in line with analysts’ expectation of $180 million in revenues.

M-Flex, as the company is called, didn’t give a profit outlook. Analysts, on average, are expecting adjusted profits of $8 million.

The company also said it transferred some of its low-volume assembly manufacturing from Anaheim to Asia, cutting 85 jobs here.

The outlook comes on the heels of M-Flex’s results for the March quarter.

For the three months through March, Multi-Fineline reported profits, excluding one-time charges, of $9 million, down 30% from a year earlier, on sales of $154 million, down 12% from a year ago.

The company said the sales decline was due to several programs ending, a shift in product mix and some parts shortages that delayed shipments.

Chief Executive Meshgin said the sales dip was “temporary.”

“We believe the factors that impacted net sales are temporary and anticipate an increase in customer demand in the second half of fiscal 2010,” he said.

Multi-Fineline’s customers include Apple Inc., Research in Motion Ltd. and Motorola Inc., among others.

TTM Technologies, a contract electronics maker, is set to see a big boost in sales after a big acquisition late last year that effectively doubled the size of the company.

For the current quarter, TTM said it sees sales roughly doubling to $299 million to $310 million, beating analysts’ expectation of $283 million in revenues.

It’s looking for adjusted profits of $7 million to $11 million, up about 30% from the year-ago quarter and more than the $7 million analysts are expecting.

The top line growth comes from TTM’s November acquisition of Hong Kong-based Meadville Holdings Ltd. for $521 million in cash and stock.

Meadville makes circuit boards that go into networking devices, cell phones, computers and other consumer electronics. It has seven factories in China and one in Hong Kong.

“TTM’s first quarter marks a milestone in our transformation to a stronger, world class leader in PCB manufacturing,” Chief Executive Kent Alder said. “With the completion of the Meadville acquisition, and a restructuring that has better matched our North American footprint to demand, we are now well-positioned to foster future growth in the U.S. and abroad.”

The company reported first quarter profits, excluding one-time charges of $9 million, roughly flat from the year-earlier quarter, on sales of $138 million, down 8% from a year ago.

The sales decline was due to the closure of a manufacturing site in Los Angeles during the fourth quarter, the company said.

TTM’s shares were up 6% near the close of New York trading on a recent market value of about $488 million.

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