Applied Materials To Shed Up To 500 Jobs

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Applied Materials will cut between 400 and 500 jobs in its energy and environmental division, the company said Wednesday, with the goal of making it profitable by next year.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company provides technology used by solar panel and semiconductor manufacturers. It will take a charge of between 18 to 21 cents in its fiscal third quarter for the restructuring, which is expected to cost between $375 million and $425 million.

Applied Materials said it will halt sales to new customers its SunFab fully integrated lines for making thin film solar panels. It will offer individual tools for sale to thin film solar manufacturers.

The restructuring will allow the company to focus on its crystalline silicon solar business and other opportunities in advanced energy technologies, it said. Annual operating expenses also are expected to fall by at least $100 million annually after the plan is completed.

Applied Materials employs nearly 13,000 people globally, and a spokesman said employees who lose their jobs in the restructuring can move within the company.

Shares of Applied Materials Inc. rose 12 cents to $12.46 in Wednesday afternoon trading.

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