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Diceon Reports Its First Quarterly Loss: $1.3 Million

Times Staff Writer

Suffering from a slump in the computer circuit board industry, Diceon Electronics Inc. had a loss of $1.3 million in its second quarter ended April 1.

The loss--the first ever reported by the Irvine firm--contrasts with net income of $3 million for the year-earlier period. Revenue for the quarter was down 18% to $29.5 million, compared to $36.2 million.

“Circuit board sales have been slowing for a year. But we’re now losing money because prices are deteriorating,” Diceon Executive Vice President Peter Jonas said Tuesday.

Jonas said the company has been cutting its costs for several months, and further cost reductions will be announced by the end of the month. He would not discuss the future cutbacks except to say that there are no plans to reduce the amount spent on product development. Diceon specializes in the high-technology segment of circuit board making.

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Jonas said sales remain depressed because corporate purchasers are worried about the future of the economy. “We don’t see the losses turning around for a while,” he said. “They may continue one or two quarters.”

He said industry performance might not improve before some companies are forced out of the circuit board business. But Diceon will remain competitive, Jonas said.

Analysts have said that Diceon is an industry leader with exceptionally healthy finances. On Sept. 30, Diceon had $1.2 million in long-term debt and total assets of $107 million.

Diceon had been profitable every quarter since Jonas and President Ron Matthews took management control of the firm in 1980. Previously, Diceon was a division of Applied Magnetics Corp.

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Diceon’s results for the first 6 months of fiscal 1989 show a net loss of $1 million, contrasted with a $6-million net profit in the same period a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter was $60.2 million, down 14% from $70.2 million.

Diceon’s stock closed Tuesday at $9 per share, down 50 cents, in over-the-counter trading.


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