HUTCHINSON (AP) -- Hutchinson Technology Inc. said Tuesday that it will cut up to 600 jobs -- about 15 percent of its work force -- by the end of September at plants in Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota.
The company said it was trimming its work force in an attempt to become profitable during fiscal 2002 at the current levels of demand for its computer suspension assembly products.
That demand has dropped from previous levels but has remained stable for the past two quarters, said Wayne Fortun, president and chief executive.
The cuts will affect employees in administrative, managerial and production jobs, the company said.
Hutchinson Technology expects to include a pretax charge of $4.5 million to $5.5 million, or 15 cents to 20 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001 related to severance costs, Fortun said.
The company reaffirmed that it expects a net loss, excluding the pretax charge, of $9 million to $13 million, or 35 cents to 50 cents a share, for the fourth quarter ending Sept. 30. Sales are expected to range between $90 million and $105 million for the quarter. The company will report results Nov. 6.
"The work force reductions and other cost-cutting actions we are taking should enable us to reduce expenses by an additional $45 million to $50 million on an annualized run rate basis," Fortun said.
Fortun said Hutchinson Technology also is continuing to improve manufacturing efficiency and productivity, so the company should be able to maintain manufacturing levels with fewer workers.
Hutchinson Technology employs about 4,000 people at plants in Hutchinson and Plymouth; Eau Claire, Wis., and Sioux Falls, S.D.
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