Lexmark to Cut 900 Jobs

Printer maker Lexmark International will cut 900 jobs and relocate its laser printer manufacturing operations to Latin America and Asia.

In a statement issued Monday, the company said the restructuring would save approximately $US100 million by 2002.

In the statement, Lexmark, based in Lexington, Ky., said it would use the savings to stay competitive in the printer business. The company has a workforce of 10,900.

The cost-cutting moves come as the laser and inkjet printer maker released its third-quarter earnings, saying that its net income for the period ending Sept. 30 fell 14% to $US66.1 million, or 50 cents a share, compared with $US76.5 million, or 56 cents a share a year ago.

After a warning by the company in September, analysts at First Call/Thomson Financial downgraded the company's expected earnings from 60 cents a share to 47 cents. Lexmark said its lower-than-expected earnings were the result of slow inkjet cartridge sales and weakness in European currencies.

Revenue for the third quarter was up 10% to $US927 million from $US845 million in the third quarter of last year. The company said that without the negative impact of foreign currency exchange, revenue would have been up 15%. Lexmark said it expects its fourth-quarter earnings to grow 10% to 15% over the same period last year.

In afternoon trading, the price of Lexmark shares rose 5 7/8 to 35 3/8, up from 29 1/2 -- close to its 52-week low of 28 3/4 but nowhere near its 52-week high of 135 7/8.

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