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  • AXT Attributes Plant Shutdowns to SARS
May 2003
FREMONT, Calif., May 16 -- The global effects of the sudden acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak have slowed demand for optoelectronic products, forcing one US manufacturer to temporarily shut down.

AXT Inc., a Fremont-based manufacturer of optoelectronic devices and compound semiconductor substrates, said it is halting production of optoelectronic devices at its US facilities for two weeks this month, after which it will determine at what pace production will be resumed.

The company said the cost-cutting measure is being taken because "even though optoelectronic sales in April were in line with expectation, optoelectronic sales in May have decreased significantly as a result of the SARS outbreak.

"The reduction in orders resulting in the temporary plant closure is expected to affect the company's revenue and earnings during the second quarter," AXT said in a press release. "The impact will be partially offset by a reduction in costs as a result of the temporary shutdown. AXT is closely monitoring the situation and will provide updated guidance as soon as it is able."

The company said it expects to ship customer orders from its current inventory during the shutdown. Performance at the substrate business is in line with expectations for the second quarter, it said.

AXT makes compound semiconductor substrates for the fiber optics and communications industries, LEDs for the display and lighting industries and edge-emitting and vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers for the fiber optics industry.

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compound semiconductor
A semiconductor made up of two or more elements, in contrast to those composed of a single element such as germanium or silicon. In a III-V semiconductor, for example, one or more elements having three valence electrons (gallium, for instance) are combined with one or more having five (arsenic).
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