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February 18, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Is Computer Automation Inc a good investment bet on the basis of the memory access patent it has licensed to IBM for the Personal System/2? That is the question raised by the Wall Street Journal’s Heard on the Street column, which found some observers looking for Computer Automation to get $1.1m in royalties from IBM, and another $5m from PS/2 clonemakers: that would certainly transform the perception of the Irvine, California former minimaker, which now makes manufacturing automation test equipment and in recent years has been notable only for the fact that it has shrunk from a $65m a year company to one doing about $21m a year, on which it earned 66 cents a share last time – if the patent really performed as the superbulls expect, it could be worth $1.30 a share to the company this year, but before that happens, Computer Automation will almost certainly have to take clonemakers to court, and it may turn out that the patent is circumventable, as Quadram and Chips & Technologies both firmly believe.

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