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June 24, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 1:05pm


By CBR Staff Writer

The world’s biggest manufacturer of oscilloscopes, Tektronix Inc, has been steadily widening its net in the last few years to encompass new products in the hot areas of video and digital television, color printers and X (now network) terminals. This year saw record sales and record order books at Wilsonville, Oregon based Tektronix and sales of the new technologies continue to thrive. Net profits for the year to May 31 were up 15.3% at $114.8m on revenue that rose 9.7% to $1.9bn. By division, colur printing and imaging sales were up 14% over 1996 to $638.5m, the figures not including impact from the new Phaser 560 printer, launched after the close of the year. The measurement business division, including oscilloscopes, saw 5% up to $812.3m; and video and networking sales were up 14% over 1996 to $448.8m, with particularly strong (21%) growth in the fourth quarter. Video and networking includes the Profile video disk recorder range, Lightworks digital non-linear editing systems, Netstation, X- terminals and WinDD Windows to Unix application access software. The recent reseller agreement with Silicon Graphics Inc came too late to affect the figures, though Tektronix says its first installation will be with ABC affiliate KGO-TV in San Francisco. The US market is where Tektronix has made its biggest impact, with US sales climbing five points to 51% of revenue this year. Unusually, net profit growth has exceeded growth in sales due to a conscious squeeze in operating margins, and chief executive officer Jerry Meyer is trumpeting the message of shareholder value as loud as he can. Operating margins have improved to 8.5% from 8.1% last year and Meyer wants to see margins in the 10% region soon. Having reduced working capital by driving down trade debtors and excess inventory, Tektronix is also sitting on a big pile of cash at the year end, with hints about further acquisitions or failing that a stock repurchase scheme to enhance shareholder value. The company is predicting sales growth for 1998 in the region of 15% and the shares climbed $1.63 to $58.25 by midday, close to their all time high of $59.75 in early May.

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