Computer Firm Moves Offices From Irvine


Financially struggling Computer Automation, one of Orange County’s oldest computer companies, said Wednesday that it has moved its headquarters from Irvine to Richardson, Tex. At the same time, the company said it suffered an operating loss of $301,000 for its third quarter ended March 31.

In a statement issued late Wednesday, the company gave no reason for moving its executive offices, although the firm’s chairman and chief executive George Pratt’s home is in Texas.

The third-quarter operating loss compared to an operating loss of $449,000 a year earlier. The company reported third-quarter net income of $69,000, contrasted with a loss of $1.9 million a year earlier. The figure for the latest quarter included a one-time gain of $370,000 related to a change in its automatic test equipment business and the planned sale of an idle printed circuit board plant.

Revenue for the quarter was $993,000, compared to $1.1 million a year earlier.


Computer Automation’s financial condition has worsened ever since a deal to sell its test equipment manufacturing business for $4 million to Technology Marketing Inc. of Irvine fell through in November. On Wednesday, the company said it will now only service and supply spare parts for current customers of its test equipment.

Pratt said in a statement that William Osmundsen, the company’s chief financial officer, was elected to the additional positions of president and chief operating officer by the board of directors in March.

Company officials could not be reached for comment late Wednesday. While the company said it was transferring its executive offices to Texas, it could not be determined whether the firm plans to keep any employees in Irvine.

For the nine months ended March 31, the company reported a loss from continuing operations of $1 million on revenue of $3.4 million, compared to a loss of $1.2 million on revenue of $4.6 million in the corresponding year-earlier period.

Computer Automation was founded in 1967 and during the 1970s was one of the leaders in the market for mid-range computers known as minicomputers. However, the company’s pioneering Naked Mini computer eventually was eclipsed by competing machines from larger minicomputer makers, such as Data General and Digital Equipment. The company’s sales, which hit $41 million in 1984, have plunged in recent years.

The company’s stock, which traded as high as $17 per share in early 1987, closed at $1.50 on Wednesday.