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Archive for Wednesday, April 25, 2001

Business briefs for Wednesday

April 25, 2001

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drops on job fears

Consumer confidence tumbled in April in a survey completed before the Federal Reserve unexpectedly cut interest rates last week for the fourth time this year.

The New York-based Conference Board said Tuesday its Consumer Confidence Index fell to 109.2 in April, down from a revised 116.9 in March.

The drop suggests that, even with the stock market appearing to stabilize, consumers are increasingly unsure about their own financial and job security, economist Joel Naroff said.

The April drop returned consumer confidence to the level it was at in February, reflecting increasing pessimism about current and future business conditions. Analysts were expecting a decline, but only to 114.

EARNINGS

JDS Uniphase posts

loss, plans to cut jobs

JDS Uniphase Corp., a leading maker of optical network components for telecommunications, lost nearly $1.3 billion in its latest quarter and plans to eliminate 5,000 jobs, or 20 percent of its worldwide work force.

The job cuts announced Tuesday are the latest to rock the slumping technology sector and are much larger than the 3,000 reductions that JDS had previously indicated it planned to make by the end of June.

The company said it plans to consolidate manufacturing of several products, consolidate product lines and shift some manufacturing to plants in China. It also plans to close several operations but did not say where.

JDS, which has headquarters in San Jose and in Ottawa, Canada, said the realignment will cost $375 million to $425 million, and will cut annual expenses by more than $250 million.

Morgan Stanley

to cut 1,500 jobs

A month after reporting a steep decline in first quarter profits, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. said Tuesday it plans to eliminate 1,500 jobs.

The cuts in Morgan Stanley's securities and investment management units will come through a combination of early retirements and layoffs, said spokeswoman Judy Hitchen.

Most of the cuts will be U.S. jobs, though some positions in Europe and Asia will be eliminated. Hitchen declined to be more specific.

The move by the New York-based brokerage follows similar actions by several competitors, including UBS Warburg, Merrill Lynch & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bear Stearns Cos., Charles Schwab Corp. and Credit Suisse First Boston.

Lucent posts loss

of $3.7 billion

Lucent Technologies Inc. lost $3.69 billion in the just-ended quarter as the communications equipment maker was hit hard by the financial meltdown of a customer, wireless network operator Winstar Communications Inc.

Lucent's net loss for the first three months of 2001, its second fiscal quarter, was equivalent to $1.08 per share. It included 15 cents per share from bad loans to Winstar, which filed for bankruptcy last week, and investment losses.

Overall, the loss reflected $2.7 billion in one-time expenses, including 2,000 of the 10,000 job cuts planned under the cost-cutting effort announced earlier this year, Lucent said Tuesday, The $2.7 billion figure was well beyond the range of $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion Lucent had expected.

INTERNET

Cisco leader arrested

for alleged embezzlement

An executive at Cisco Systems Inc., the world's leading maker of Internet equipment, has been arrested and accused of embezzling more than $10 million.

Robert Gordon, a vice president of business development at Cisco, fraudulently acquired more than 30,000 shares of stock in Internet Security Services Group Inc., according to an FBI affidavit. He sold those shares after transferring them into a company he started in the Bahamas, the affidavit alleges.

Gordon allegedly took the proceeds from the shares he sold and invested much of it into Spanlink Communication Inc., a communications company partnered with Cisco.

The affidavit alleges Gordon doubled his investment in Spanlink, receiving $10 million on his $5 million investment. He faces a $250,000 fine and five years in prison for fraud in interstate commerce.

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