To avoid cash interest payments, Newport Corp. of Irvine, Calif., retired $69.6 million of its 2.5% convertible subordinated notes due Feb. 15, 2012, for a sum of $70 million plus accrued interest. The early retirement will save the company $900,000 over the remaining terms of the notes. The principal amount of the convertible notes that will remain outstanding is $51 million. The company said it is confident that it will generate revenue from operating activities and capitalize on new opportunities to effectively use its cash. It supplies lasers, optics and measurement equipment for the life and health sciences, defense and security, industrial manufacturing and scientific research markets.