09:42 AM

Agilent Reports 4,000 Job Cuts, 1Q Loss

The cuts amount to 11% of workers at the maker of test and measurement equipment.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Agilent Technologies Inc., a leading maker of test and measurement equipment, announced a first-quarter loss Friday and unveiled plans to cut an additional 4,000 jobs, or 11% of its workforce, to reduce expenses.

The Palo Alto company, which eliminated 2,500 jobs in November and 8,000 jobs in late 2001, said uncertainty in the economy has continued to weaken demand for its products.

"Our first-quarter results were disappointing," said Ned Barnholt, Agilent's chairman and chief executive. "Orders were weaker than expected due to a general climate of uncertainty ... Based on these results, we're taking additional aggressive cost-cutting actions to return Agilent to profitability during the second half of this year."

The company, which was spun off from Hewlett-Packard in 1999, had 35,000 employees before the cuts.

For the three months ended Jan. 31, Agilent lost $369 million, or 24 cents per share, compared with a loss of $315 million, or 68 cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenue fell to $1.41 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2003 from $1.42 billion last year.

Excluding one-time items, the company lost $109 million, or 23 cents per share, compared with a loss of $134 million, or 29 cents per share, last year.

Analysts were expecting a loss of 24 cents per share on sales of $1.4 billion, according to a survey by Thomson First Call.

Shares of Agilent rose 25 cents to $12.85 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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