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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS | ORANGE COUNTY BRIEFLY

Irvine Sensors Shares Soar on R&D Contract

March 01, 2000|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Irvine Sensors Corp.'s stock pushed into record territory Tuesday, continuing a surge that began six weeks ago.

Shares of the Costa Mesa developer of electronics and sensor products hit a 52-week high of $13.56 before retreating a bit to close at $11.44, up $3.44, or 43%, in heavy Nasdaq trading. More than 8.3 million shares were traded, nearly seven times the average daily volume.

The company, which lost money every year in the last decade, said Tuesday it received a $1-million research-and-development contract to demonstrate a superconducting digital router for high-speed communications. The new contract is administered by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command.

The company said it hopes to develop a "super switch" that could evolve with the communications industry's ever-increasing need for speed.

The stock, which has climbed more than fivefold so far this year, was trading about $2.50 a share in mid-January, when it began its run-up.

Executives could not be reached for further comment.

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