Optical Scythe Swings On
Updates posted today to the report Grim Reaping: A Downturn Tally indicate that since last month, another 40,000-odd employees have been laid off -- or are earmarked for the cut within this quarter.
New layoff news came during the recent spate of earnings announcements. Among the hardest hit: Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) -- see Corning Downsizing Photonics; JDS Uniphase Inc. (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) -- see Sizing Up JDSU's Massive Loss; and Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) -- see Lucent's Hopes Dimming.
Twenty-five of the 40 companies in the Light Reading Index have announced substantial layoffs this year. And of that total, eleven have lost (or are losing) more than 25 percent of their workforce.
Private companies are suffering too. Late in July, Optical Micro Machines Inc. (OMM) announced the layoff of another 100 employees (see OMM-inous News). In addition, the company has discontinued its 3-D MEMS development and postponed its IPO.
But grim as the situation is, there are signs here and there that the worst may soon be behind us. In its latest earnings call, executives from Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) made it clear that no more bodies will be cut (see Has Nortel Hit Bottom?). And some former skeptics claim an improved prognosis for Lucent (see Levy's Lucent Call Boosts Stock).
Experts say no substantial improvement in optical fundamentals is likely to occur before the middle of next year, at the earliest.
- Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com Movers and shakers from more than 100 companies – including those listed above – will be speaking at Opticon 2001, Light Reading’s annual conference, being held in San Jose, California, August 13-16. Check it out at Opticon2001.