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Agilent to Cut 4,000 More Jobs

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PALO ALTO, Calif. - Test and measurement equipment maker Agilent Technologies Inc. announced today it will cut an additional 4,000 jobs, or 11 percent of its work force, to reduce expenses.

Agilent 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 CEO. "Orders were weaker than expected due to a general climate of uncertainty. Based on these results, we are taking additional aggressive cost-cutting actions to return Agilent to profitability during the second half of this year."

He said for the three months ended Jan. 31, it 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.

While all of Agilent's business segments were relatively soft in the first quarter, the company said it saw particular weakness in its semiconductor equipment, test and measurement, and chemical analysis businesses compared to prior expectations.

Barnholt said Agilent's orders were down 22 percent compared to a year ago in the Americas, about flat in Europe and up 7 percent in Asia. "Our first quarter results reflect a collective hesitation by many of our customers, who are deferring capital expenditures. Geopolitical uncertainty, on top of the general economic weakness we've experienced in the last year and a half, has resulted in a continuing pattern of weak orders."

"Our near-term outlook calls for a modest improvement in second quarter orders and revenues based on a rebound in semiconductor equipment and seasonally higher semiconductor orders," Barnholt said. "However, visibility has never been worse, and we have no reason to believe that business will improve materially in the quarters immediately ahead."

Agilent eliminated 2,500 jobs in November and 8,000 jobs in late 2001. Before the cuts, it had 35,000 employees.

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Feb 2003
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