Other items: China Eastern adds to 737 order book; 29 acres in Kent sold to Calif. firm; $31 million deal for Canfor sawmill unit.

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Redmond-based Data I/O said Wednesday it expects fourth-quarter revenue to be less than previously projected.

The company expects sales of $6 million to $6.5 million, below earlier expectations of $7.8 million.

The drop reflects customers pushing out shipments and orders for Data I/O’s manual- and automated-device programming systems, said Chief Executive Fred Hume.

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“We believe that these delays are not related to the overall demand for our products but reflect the seasonality of our customers’ business,” he said.

The company expects 2005 to be a “very good year” based on its 2004 and 2005 initiatives, including new products, increased customer penetration and the establishment of Data I/O China and Data I/O Brazil.

Data I/O stock dropped 13 cents Wednesday and an additional 7 cents yesterday, a 5.9 percent decline that brought the stock down to $3.19 yesterday.


China Eastern adds to 737 order book

China Eastern Airlines agreed to buy six 737-700 jetliners from Boeing, valuing the purchase at $241 million.

China’s third-biggest airline said in a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange that it had signed an agreement with the jet maker yesterday.

The new planes, which will increase its capacity by 4.3 percent, will be delivered by August 2006, China Eastern said.


29 acres in Kent sold to Calif. firm

Boeing has sold another large undeveloped chunk of its Pacific Gateway Business Park, this time to San-Francisco real-estate investor Rreef.

The 29 acres in Kent fetched $8.5 million, according to King County records. Rreef could not be reached for comment yesterday. It can build up to 700,000 square feet on the land it bought at West Valley Highway and South 212th Street.

Last year, Boeing sold the park’s 120-acre Phase I property to developer Mario Segale for $32.2 million.

Pope & Talbot

$31 million deal for Canfor sawmill unit

Canfor agreed to sell its Fort St. James sawmill business to Portland-based Pope & Talbot for $31.5 million plus the value of inventory.

Sale of the business in British Columbia is expected to close March 1, Vancouver, B.C.-based Canfor said Wednesday.

Compiled from Seattle Times business staff and Bloomberg News

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Labor Department

Foreign-worker requests streamlined

The Labor Department, seeking to streamline the review of foreign-worker requests, will soon allow employers to file those applications online.

With more than 300,000 applications pending, the plan includes two temporary “backlog-elimination centers” in Dallas and Philadelphia, said attorneys familiar with the changes.

In addition, new applications that had once been reviewed in individual states will now be submitted to “national processing centers” in Atlanta and Chicago, officials said.

While streamlining the process for foreign workers, federal officials said they would protect the rights of U.S. workers, who have first claim on all jobs.

Ira Mehlman, a spokesman with the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said efficiency is not the major issue.

“The Labor Department has basically rubber stamped every request employers have made,” Mehlman said, calling the foreign-workers system “a back-door immigration program.”

Labor Department officials said they do not rubber stamp anything, and that the changes will help them more thoroughly review every request for foreign workers.

US Airways

Union contract cuts pay 13%, aids airline

Reservations and gate agents at US Airways approved a new contract yesterday that cuts pay by 13 percent and provides the airline some of the relief it says it needs to avoid imminent liquidation.

The Communications Workers of America, which represents nearly 6,000 passenger-service employees at the bankrupt airline, said that 60 percent of members who cast ballots voted to approve the deal, which runs though 2011.

The deal is expected to save the airline $137 million a year.

Charles Schwab Corp.

Brokerage to sell its 3 NYSE seats

Charles Schwab Corp. will sell its three New York Stock Exchange seats and no longer maintain a membership at the exchange after the sale is completed.

The move follows the company’s sale of its capital markets and trading business earlier this year and previously announced efforts to cut costs.

In October, the company agreed to sell its capital-markets business to UBS for $265 million in cash.

Charles Schwab, the world’s largest discount brokerage, also entered into an agreement to handle trade execution through a services agreement with UBS Securities.

The brokerage expects the sale to close during the first quarter of 2005. Through its agreement with UBS, Schwab will maintain access to the NYSE, and Schwab customers will continue to have the option to route their orders to the NYSE.

“With our exit from the capital-markets arena, we have been re-evaluating our memberships on a number of the exchanges,” Michael Alexander, vice president of trading and asset services, said in a statement. “This change will have no impact on customer-order handling.”

Walt Disney Co.

Compensation policy for execs is revised

The Walt Disney Co. has revamped its executive-compensation policy, requiring top officers to own and hold more stock and tying stock awards to the performance of the company’s share price.

The new policy comes atop other compensation changes the board made in September to Disney’s bonus plan, which tied executive bonuses more closely to the company’s financial performance.

The plan also reduces the amount of stock options granted to executives, shifting the majority of grants to restricted stock units.

The changes come as the Burbank-based company plans to replace longtime Chief Executive Michael Eisner, who has said he will retire when his contract expires in 2006. The company said it expects to name a successor by June.

Compiled from Knight Ridder Newspapers and The Associated Press