Shares of Everett-based Unova, a provider of industrial automation systems and automated data systems, rose sharply yesterday after Zebra Technologies agreed to obtain a license on Unova's radio-frequency technology.

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Shares of Everett-based Unova, a provider of industrial automation systems and automated data systems, rose sharply yesterday after Zebra Technologies agreed to obtain a license on Unova’s radio-frequency technology.

Unova shares rose $3.78, or 17.1 percent, to close at $25.85.

Unova, through its Intermec unit, is seeking royalties from its patents on a means of using radio signals to track inventory. The company recently announced a plan to encourage licenses on the technology under discounted royalty rates between June 1 and Aug. 31, after which fees would rise.

Micron Technology

Semiconductor glut

results in a loss

Micron Technology, the largest U.S. maker of computer memory chips, missed analysts’ expectations for a profit after a glut of semiconductors sliced the price of its main product.

The Boise, Idaho, firm said yesterday it had a loss of $127.9 million, or 20 cents a share, in the period ended June 2, compared with a profit of $90.9 million, or 13 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales fell 5.6 percent to $1.05 billion.

The loss reflects the oversupply of chips created after Micron and other chipmakers upgraded factories and boosted output. Prices tumbled 30 percent from the previous quarter.


Merger would keep

both names in play

Sprint and Nextel Communications announced yesterday that they’ve decided on a common name to go by after they merge, pending regulatory and shareholder approval.

The combined entity, known as Sprint Nextel, will use Sprint as the main brand, while the Nextel brand will be used for key products. The logo will incorporate both Sprint’s “pin drop” and Nextel’s yellow and black colors. Sprint and Nextel also said yesterday they’ll continue Nextel’s partnership with NASCAR, including the Nextel Cup Series, through 2006.

Meanwhile, Nextel Partners, a Kirkland company that sells Nextel-branded services, urged shareholders to vote for a clause that forces Sprint to buy Nextel Partners after the merger, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Shareholders can’t vote on the clause until the firms merge.

Sea Launch


satellite launched

An Intelsat communications satellite was successfully launched into orbit yesterday from an oceangoing platform in the Pacific, said Sea Launch, a consortium led by Boeing,

All systems of the Zenit-3SL rocket performed properly, the Long Beach, Calif.-based company said.

Compiled from Dow Jones Newswires, The Associated Press, Bloomberg News and Seattle Times staff



Secret memo reveals

staffing shift to India

IBM is continuing its rapid expansion in India despite layoffs elsewhere in the massive technology company, according to a confidential document leaked to a Seattle labor organization.

During the current year IBM will add 14,046 employees in India, the document said. Meanwhile, the company, which has 320,000 employees worldwide, is trimming 10,000 to 13,000 jobs, mostly in slower-growing Europe, part of a restructuring announced May 4.

A company spokeswoman would not comment specifically on the document, but noted that IBM signaled in the restructuring announcement that it would shift resources to higher-growth markets.

“India, China and Brazil are the high-growth geographies for IBM and we are aggressively hiring to support that growth,” spokeswoman Flor Estevez said.

IBM’s India employment will reach 38,196 this year, up from 6,070 in 2002, according to the memo.

The April 2005 document was received by the Seattle-based Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, known as WashTech.

“It’s disingenuous of IBM to say they’re doing this because they need to service these markets, when in fact a lot of these jobs are serving the U.S. market,” said Marcus Courtney, WashTech president.


6,500 jobs to be cut

in restructuring plan

Alcoa, the world’s largest aluminum producer, yesterday said it will eliminate about 6,500 jobs globally during the second quarter as part of a restructuring aimed at saving the company $150 million a year.

Alcoa spokesman Kevin Lowery said the aluminum maker has been hit by North American automakers scaling back production amid slumping sales.

“In total, the restructuring we have undertaken this year should generate nearly $200 million in annual cost savings, helping put our businesses in a better position to compete globally and serve our customers,” Chairman and CEO Alain Belda said in a statement.

Shares of Alcoa fell 50 cents to close at $27.19.


Takeover to include

loss of 1,500 workers

Ameritrade, which Wednesday agreed to buy TD Waterhouse — the U.S. online brokerage of Toronto-Dominion Bank — expects to cut about 1,500 jobs, or a third of its work force, within 18 months after the takeover is completed.

Ameritrade Chief Executive Officer Joseph Moglia said the combined company will eventually have about 3,000 workers, down from 4,500. The transaction is expected to close in six months.

Ameritrade, ETrade and other brokerages are trying to reduce costs as trading volumes slump from their highs at the beginning of the decade, said Lauren Bender, an analyst with Boston-based research firm Celent.

General Electric

Consolidation to turn

11 firms into 6 groups

General Electric announced plans yesterday to reorganize its 11 businesses into six industry-focused groups.

The company also named three new vice chairmen and reaffirmed double-digit profit growth for this year and the coming years.

Shares of GE fell 84 cents to close at $34.66 yesterday.

Yesterday’s moves signaled a changing of the guard and stepped-up efforts by one of the world’s largest companies by market value to tap into fast-growing markets in developing countries.

The changes also were designed to retain top executives who had been sought after by other major companies and will save GE as much as $300 million, company officials said.

Compiled from Seattle Times business staff, The Associated Press and Bloomberg News