The following is excerpted from IRG's weekly stock report:
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- Pioneer Corp. (PNCOF.PK), which is ending unprofitable plasma-screen operations, reported that the company will sell its display factory. The company is in talks to sell the factory in Kagoshima prefecture, Kyushu island, to Field Emission Technologies Inc. for as much as 30 billion yen (US$283 million).
- NEC Corp. (NIPNF.PK) would acquire NetCracker Technology Corp. to add to its offerings for the communications industry and expand its international software business. Though no terms were disclosed in a press release announcing the deal, Reuters put the price at about US$300 million. NEC said adding NetCracker, whose business in so-called operations support system, or OSS, products and services for communications service providers, will help it achieve new international growth and it expects to generate nearly 200 billion yen (US$1.9 billion) over five years. NEC tries to seek opportunities outside its saturated home market and aims to achieve a leading position in global IT-network business.
- NEC Corp. said the company and Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. will buy undersea-cable maker OCC Corp. for as much as 9 billion yen (US$85 million). According to media report NEC will acquire 75 percent and Sumitomo Electric, which makes electrical cables and optical fibers, will buy the remainder from investment company Longreach Group. OCC has about 20 percent of the global market for undersea cables.
- Hitachi Ltd. (HIT) and Canon Inc. (CAJ) have agreed to jointly develop and manufacture small and midsize organic electroluminescence [EL] displays for digital cameras within two years. The two firms will transfer a total of about 100 engineers to a new organization they plan to set up in early July to handle the project. They also intend to build a new production line at an existing plant in Chiba Prefecture to turn out organic EL displays on a trial basis. Based on the results, the two partners expect to build a system to mass-produce the EL displays at relatively low cost, taking advantage of Canon's materials coating technology and production control know-how. Small and midsize organic EL displays are currently supplied by Samsung SDI Co. and Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co. mainly to makers of cellular phones and portable music players.
- NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NTT) will be flexible in negotiations with Apple Inc. to offer the iPhone. NTT faces a shrinking market share whose lineup of mobile phones and services offers little distinction from that of Softbank Corp. (SFTBF.PK) and KDDI Corp. NTT, which includes its trademark i-mode Webbrowsing software in all handsets, lost out to Softbank for the right to sell the iPhone from July 11. Softbank may sell about 1 million of the handsets in six months to a year.
- Sanyo Electric Co. (SANYY.PK) will build a new lithium-ion battery plant to meet demand from makers of laptop computers and other devices. The factory, located in Minamiawaji city near Osaka, will start operations in spring of 2009. Sanyo will spend about 20 billion yen (US$189 million) on the plant. Together with a facility Sanyo is building in Osaka prefecture, the plants will increase its output capacity of rechargeable batteries by 30 percent to 90 million units a month. The company and rival Samsung SDI Co. are increasing output of rechargeable batteries to meet demand for portable electronics.