Heavy spending on R&D often leads to growth and prosperity. But not always. 
      Take a look at past leaders in BUSINESS WEEK's rankings of R&D per employee 
      (excluding biotech companies, whose figures are inflated by drug-trial 
      expenses).
      
      Company                                               R&D per Employee
      XONICS Des Plaines, Ill.                               1984:   $92,347
      Socked by price-cutting, the maker of X-ray gear filed for 
      Chapter 11 in 1984, making its top spot in the BW rankings 
      a statistical anomaly. In 1985, it was bought by Allied 
      Products for less than $5 million in cash and stock.
      
      SOFTWARE PUBLISHING Santa Clara, Calif.                1985:   $33,914
      The maker of Harvard Graphics presentation software    1991:   $78,109 
      diversified unsuccessfully and lost share to Lotus, Microsoft,
      and others. It's refocusing on Harvard Graphics spinoffs 
      after big losses.
      
      TRANSITRON ELECTRONIC Woburn, Mass.                    1986:   $66,450  
      Founded in the 1950s as one of the first high-tech 
      companies along suburban Boston's Route 128, Transitron 
      found success transitory. Heavy debts caused by failed 
      ventures in integrated circuits forced it to dissolve the year 
      it made No. 1--another statistical anomaly.
      
      CHIPS & TECHNOLOGIES San Jose, Calif.                  1987:   $48,000 
      C&T thrived in the 1980s as the first company to 
      develop                                                1988:   $60,828
      a set of chips for personal computer clonemakers. But  1989:   $67,373
      once others figured out how to clone PC chips, C&T 
      went                                                   1990:   $68,456
      into a swoon. It has regained profitability by focusing 
      on                                                     1992:   $86,137
      graphics-display chips for laptops.     
      
      S3 Santa Clara, Calif.                                 1993:   $80,132
      S3 is booming as a creator of multimedia chips for 
      personal                                               1994:   $82,548
      computers. Compaq Computer recently announced it  
      would use S3's accelerator chips to deliver TV-quality video
      on PCs for sale this Christmas.
      
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