HUTCHINSON, Minn. (AP) — Hutchinson Technology will cut 30 percent to 40 percent of its U.S. work force as part of a consolidation plan, the company said Tuesday, sending shares plummeting 10 percent before the market opened.
The cuts amount to between 680 and 910 of its 2,275 workers. Hutchinson said its needs fewer employees now because of advancements in manufacturing technology.
The company, which makes suspension assemblies for computer disk drives and other electronic products, also said it will consolidate its Hutchinson, Minn. components operations into its operations in Eau Claire, Wis. The Minnesota site will continue to serve as its corporate headquarters.
Hutchinson Technology has closed plants and cut hundreds of jobs over the last two years as it struggled through the recession and the loss of big customers.
The job cuts and transition are expected to take place over the next year and cut its costs by about $45 million to $60 million a year.
The company also said Tuesday it now expects suspension assembly shipments to fall by as much as 5 percent in the fiscal second quarter from the most recent quarter that ended in December, due to changes in customers' plans. Because of this, it now expects to post a widened operating loss in the fiscal second quarter ending in March.
Shares of Hutchinson Technology Inc. fell 30 cents to $2.80 in premarket trading.