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STMicro To Lay Off 1,200

Swiss chipmaker STMicroelectronics reported a wider first-quarter loss Wednesday as sales sank across the board, and said it would cut 1,200 jobs around the world.

SEATTLE (AP) -- Swiss chipmaker STMicroelectronics NV reported a wider first-quarter loss Wednesday as sales sank across the board, and said it would lay off 1,200 people.

The Geneva-based company said it lost $541 million, or 62 cents per share, in the quarter, compared with a year-ago loss of $84 million, or 9 cents per share. Excluding $56 million in restructuring charges and other one-time items, STMicro said it lost 31 cents per share, slightly better than the 33-cent loss that analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast.

Revenue plunged 33 percent to $1.66 billion from $2.48 billion in the year-ago quarter, coming in shy of analysts' $1.67 billion estimate. STMicro said sales dropped in all of its business segments, including the ones that make chips for cars, cameras and TV set-top boxes.

The company said it cut inventory levels by $184 million in the quarter to help stave off effects of the global economic crisis.

In connection with a joint venture with mobile phone maker Ericsson called ST-Ericsson, STMicro said it would cut 1,200 jobs around the world. The company predicted restructuring charges between $70 million and $90 million related to the layoffs and other changes.

For the current second quarter, the chipmaker forecast sales of $1.73 billion to $1.93 billion -- topping the $1.72 billion outlook on Wall Street.

Shares of STMicro added 26 cents, or 4 percent, to close earlier at $6.59.

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