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April 1, 2009

Agilent axes 2,700 jobs

Also temporarily suspends its share repurchase program

By CBR Staff Writer

Testing equipment and chip maker Agilent Technologies has cut approximately 2,700 jobs in response to a decline in product demand. It will also temporarily suspend its share repurchase program until the end of fiscal 2009.

The company plans to reduce annual costs by $300m over the next four quarters at its Electronic Measurement division to achieve a operating margin of 12% and ROIC of 21%. It also plans to restructure its Semiconductor & Board Test unit to reduce annual costs by an additional $10m. It expects the restructuring plan to incur costs of approximately $160m.

Last month the company cut approximately 600 jobs when it shut down two small board-inspection businesses and restructured its global infrastructure operations.

Bill Sullivan, president and chief executive at Agilent, said: We have been very aggressive to date in addressing the downturn in electronic measurement markets. However, business remains severely depressed, and there are no prospects for a meaningful recovery in the foreseeable future. Therefore, we have no choice but to resize our electronic measurement businesses for the realities of the marketplace.

In the first quarter 2009 the company reported a 47% decline in net income to $64m, compared to $120m in the year-ago quarter, on revenue down 16% at $1.17 billion.

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