SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Amid a loss, a reduction in capital spending and a poor outlook, Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Pte. Ltd. is reducing its worldwide workforce by approximately 600 people, or about 8 percent of its total employment.
The move follows other recent job cuts by the foundry provider. ''In managing our cash and liquidity position, we are taking a painful but prudent business decision to reduce our worldwide workforce by approximately 600 people in the coming days, bringing the total workforce reduction since third quarter of 2008 to about 1,300 positions or approximately 18 percent of the total workforce,'' Chia Song Hwee, president and CEO of Chartered, in a statement.
''In addition, we expect to reduce our capital expenditure by 35 percent compared to the previous year to $375 million in 2009, our lowest level since 2003,'' he added.
Revenues were $351.7 million in fourth quarter 2008, down 0.3 percent from $352.6 million in fourth quarter 2007. Sequentially, revenues were down 24.1 percent compared to $463.7 million in third quarter 2008.
Net loss was $114.0 million, compared to a net income of $5.9 million in the year-ago quarter, and a net loss of $24.4 million in the previous quarter.
Capacity utilization in fourth quarter 2008 was 59 percent compared to 81 percent in the year-ago quarter, and 85 percent in third quarter 2008.
Shipments in fourth quarter 2008 were 368.8 thousand wafers, a decrease of 3.7 percent compared to 383.2 thousand wafers in fourth quarter 2007. Shipments in fourth quarter 2008 decreased by 28.3 percent compared to 514.3 thousand wafers shipped in third quarter 2008.
Revenues were $1.7 billion in 2008, up 22.5 percent from $1.3 billion in 2007. Net loss was $92.6 million, compared to a net income of $101.7 million in 2007.
Going forward, the prospects look bleak. For Q1, fab utilization will be down to 37 percent, plus or minus 3 percent. It is projected to show a loss of $147 million, plus or minus $5 million, in Q1.
''Based on our current outlook, we are guiding for Chartered revenues to be down approximately 32 percent sequentially and revenues including Chartered's share of SMP to be down approximately 31 percent sequentially in the first quarter," said George Thomas, senior vice president and CFO of Chartered.
Rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) reported poor results in the quarter, but the outlook is worse.