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Struggling with the domestic economic slump and falling prices in the semiconductor market, NEC Corp. suffered a consolidated net mid-term earnings loss for the first time in five years, company officials said Friday.The net loss for the April-September period was 19.7 billion yen, with the operating loss in the electronic device business, most notably DRAM memories, totaling 23 billion yen during that period, the company said. NEC also released projections for all of fiscal 1998, with a net loss estimated at 35 billion yen on the consolidated basis.It would also be the first full fiscal year the firm has been in the red since 1993, when the company reported an after-tax loss of 45.1 billion yen for fiscal 1992. Shigeo Matsumoto, senior vice president of NEC, said that small and medium-size customers in the domestic market have been particularly adversely affected by the current economic slump, cutting down on their information investments.Consolidated midterm sales for the April-September period also shrank to 2.11 trillion yen from 2.37 trillion yen in the previous year, the company said. By segments, midterm sales in telecommunications devices shrank 13.7 percent from the previous year, and computers and other information devices dropped 3.9 percent.

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