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With an average of $13,000 doled out to its shareholders last year, it's no wonder Micron Technology piques a lot of people's interest.

Speaking at a recent Provo/Orem Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Micron Vice President for Corporate Affairs Kipp Bedard said the company cut nearly $22 million worth of profit-share checks last year to employees.

Bedard was in Provo to also talk about Micron's new construction project in Lehi and the economic impact the Boise-based computer chip giant will have on Utah County when the plant is expected to open within a year and a half.

"Workers began pouring concrete July 18, and they're pouring 1,200 yards a day," Bedard said.

The company broke ground in Lehi June 23. More than 700 workers from five general contracting crews are working two 10-hour shifts six days a week to get the structural frames and sidings in place by this November.

"Then we hope to have the initial wafer fabrication building up in a year," he said.

Bedard said Micron plans on hiring about 25 percent of its work force within the first year of production, will then phase 50 percent of employees in the following year and the remaining quarter of hires within three to four years.

Regarding economic impact, Bedard said he estimates $100 million will be distributed in payroll for employees at the Lehi site once production begins, while tax revenues to the state will generate about $50 million.

Up north, Bedard said Micron alone accounted for 27 percent of Idaho's total state corporation tax collection.

He added the company handed out $309 million in payroll for 1994 at its corporate headquarters in Boise and has had consistent increases throughout the years. Micron Technology employs about 7,200 people while company payroll figures from 1988 to 1994 totaled nearly $1.14 billion.

Bedard said Micron reported record sales and net income for fiscal 1994, mainly due to favorable market conditions and an increase in the production of semiconductor memory chips. Nearly $83 million was spent on research and development, while capital expenditures were $377 million.

"We have an excellent, strong economy, but as you all know, the business world is cyclical," he said to the chamber members. "I add that as a caveat."

Net income was reported at more than $400 million on net sales of nearly $1.6 billion in 1994. The company's largest product line is Dynamic Random Access Memory, or DRAM, which accounted for 73 percent of sales in fiscal 1994.

DRAMs are the most widely used semiconductor memory components in computer systems, and Bedard said Micron's product can be found in nearly 60 percent of the personal computing and networking market today.

According to 1995 statistics, Micron ranked No. 9 among 263 U.S. companies in the industry of electronic equipment manufacturers, and ranked No. 2 in profit margins with 29.2 percent.

Alcatel Alsthom, Motorola Inc., Intel Corp., Texas Instruments and Honeywell Inc. were the top five manufacturing companies. Overseas, Micron's competitors include Hitachi, Samsung Semiconductor Inc. and Toshiba.

Merrill Lynch Capital Markets reported Micron was the world's eighth largest DRAM memory producer at the end of 1994, with a 6 percent share of the market.

Bedard said current expansion projects for Micron include increases of existing capacities in Idaho of up to 100 percent, including more than half a million square feet to four buildings.

The company will spend $900 million in current capital expenditures for the Idaho expansions, in addition to the estimated $1.5 billion, 2-million-square-foot facility under way in Lehi.