Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Some Cuts Announced

As with many other industries, the electronics market is suffering from the downturn and several companies have announced layoffs. STMicroelectronics has outlined a major cost-cutting effort, including a plan to shed 4,500 jobs. In total, STMicroelectronics (Geneva) plans to reduce its costs by over $700 million in 2009. The actions are focused on ''resizing'' the company's manufacturing operations and streamlining expenses. The company - which issued a recent warning about Q4 - also reported sales of $2.276 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to $2.696 billion in the third period and $2.742 billion in the like period a year ago.

Texas Instruments said it will lay off 12 percent of its workforce, or approximately 3,400 employees, as it restructures operations following one of the worst sequential and year-over year quarterly performances in the history of the analog and digital signal processor company. Dallas, Texas-based TI also warned that it does not expect sales will improve significantly anytime soon due to continuing weakness in the general economy, which helped drive down fourth quarter revenue 30 percent from the immediately preceding quarter and 26 percent from the comparable quarter of 2007.

Royal Philips Electronics NV (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) is planning to reduce its workforce by 6,000 worldwide this year after reporting its first quarterly loss for almost six years. It also halted an ongoing shares buy-back program. The company suffered a net loss of Euros 186 million for 2008 after a fourth quarter loss of Euros 1.47 billion, partly because of a write-down in the value of its Lumileds diode light unit, as well as downgrading the value of its remaining stakes in NXP Semiconductors and LG Display Co.

Hopefully the RF/microwave industry will not be affected as much as these large electronics companies that are more directly related to consumer demand. Maybe the new stimulus packages will help pull us out of the recession.

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