Flextronics ( FLEX) on Thursday assured investors that the company's fourth quarter is on track and that a big outsourcing deal with Nortel ( NT) is closer to completion. "Not a lot of changes; we're making very steady progress," CEO Michael Marks said during a brief midquarter update call with analysts. Some investors may have expected an upside; the stock was recently off 25 cents, or 1.3%, after hours. Flextronics gained 46 cents, or 2.5%, to $18.70 in regular trading Thursday. In January, the company said it expects a pro forma profit of 9 cents to 11 cents on sales ranging from $3.4 billion to $3.6 billion, numbers that are right in line with Wall Street's expectations. At the time, it also delivered a
strong third quarter , including record sales of $4.15 billion. In January, Nortel said it's in talks to outsource the remainder of its manufacturing capacity, a move that could cause the transfer or loss of 2,500 jobs. Flextronics would take over the lion's share of the manufacturing capacity, operations that make up roughly $2 billion of Nortel's cost of sales. Nortel would move more than $500 million of manufacturing and inventory assets to Flextronics in return for $500 million in cash to be paid over nine months. Marks said he'll have more to say about the ongoing talks when the company reports its results for the fourth quarter in late April.