SCIENCE / TECHNOLOGY

Compiled by Jonathan Weber, Times staff writer

Feeling the Pinch: Datum Inc., an Anaheim manufacturer of timing instruments, has been feeling the pinch of the defense spending slowdown. Not that it has affected earnings as of yet--the firm Monday reported record revenues of $37 million and earnings of $1.3 million.

But Datum's stock has languished around $4 for several years, and the company considers the price so weak that it will announce a stock buyback today. And Benjamin F. Tarver, vice president for finance, attributes the weakness to the fact that 70% of the company's business is with the military.

According to the California Technology Stock Letter, Datum is currently a real bargain. "They can sell this company at $8 a share any time they want just by making a couple of phone calls," says the latest issue of the Bay Area newsletter.

Says Tarver: "I don't know where they get that. There are no negotiations going on, and if someone offered $8 a share, I imagine we'd take it."

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