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Hutchinson Technology Reports First Quarter Net Loss

The company's assembly operation in Thailand has been qualified, and volume product is being shipped from the site. Start-up expenses for the Thailand operation totaled $4.7 million in the fiscal 2011 first quarter, compared with $2.9 million in the preceding quarter. "We are now focusing on increasing volume at our Thailand operation to further improve our cost position and customer service," said Skarvan.

Skarvan said that the company continues to supply prototype volumes of dual-stage actuated (DSA) suspensions for customers' programs that are currently in development. "Our leading designs, proven capabilities and established capacity for DSA suspensions position us well to meet our customers' needs for this technology, which is currently expected to be more widely adopted in 2012," said Skarvan.

The company currently expects its suspension assembly shipments to be flat to up slightly for the fiscal 2011 second quarter compared with the first quarter. Pricing is expected to remain competitive and fiscal 2011 second quarter results are not expected to include the gross margin benefit of the first quarter's inventory build. The company believes that the combination of these factors will result in a sequential decline in its fiscal 2011 second quarter gross and operating margin. 

BioMeasurement Division

Net sales for the BioMeasurement Division totaled $542,000 in the fiscal 2011 first quarter compared with $682,000 in the preceding quarter and $509,000 in the fiscal 2010 first quarter. The sequential quarter decline resulted from a decline in sensor sales, reflecting lower patient volume during the calendar fourth quarter. The installed base of monitors totaled 367 at the end of the first quarter, compared with 344 at the end of the preceding quarter and 248 at the end of the fiscal 2010 first quarter.

As a result of previously announced cost reductions, the division's operating loss was reduced from $6.0 million in the preceding quarter to $2.9 million in the fiscal 2011 first quarter. For the full fiscal year, the division's operating loss is currently expected to be less than $8 million on net sales of $3 million to $5 million.

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