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Hutchinson Technology Reports Fourth Quarter Loss On Reduced Volume

Regarding the outlook for suspension assembly demand, the company expects its shipments in the fiscal 2011 first quarter to be 100 million to 110 million, in what it believes will be the low point for quarterly volume in fiscal 2011.

"Looking further ahead, we expect TSA+ suspension assemblies to account for a steadily increasing proportion of our shipments, growing from approximately a third of shipments in the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter to half of our shipments by mid-year and two-thirds of our shipments by year end," said Skarvan. "We are also shipping prototypes of dual-stage actuated (DSA) suspensions to four of the five hard disk drive OEMs, and we have received very positive feedback regarding the performance of our DSA suspensions in their tests."

BioMeasurement Division

Net sales for the BioMeasurement Division totaled $682,000 in the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter, up from $536,000 in the preceding quarter and $624,000 in last year's fourth quarter. Most of the sequential quarter increase in net sales resulted from repeat sensor sales to existing customers. For the full fiscal year, the number of sensors sold increased 63 percent compared with fiscal 2009 as repeat sales increased off of the growing base of installed monitors. At the end of fiscal 2010, the installed base of monitors totaled 344 across 138 customers compared with 222 across 98 customers at the end of fiscal 2009.

Rick Penn, president of the BioMeasurement Division, said that cost reductions in the division are nearly complete. "We expect to narrow the division's fiscal 2011 operating loss to less than $8 million compared with $24 million in fiscal 2010," said Penn. The division's net sales in fiscal 2011 are currently expected to range from $3 million to $5 million compared with $2.4 million in fiscal 2010. The division's expectations for fiscal 2011 net sales are contingent upon growing market acceptance of its existing and new products and upon hospital spending levels, which have been constrained by industry economic conditions.

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