CHELMSFORD, Mass.--Joining a parade of companies cutting their forecasts, Brooks Automation Inc. today announced it would lay off 175-to-200 people and it lowered estimates for revenues in the current fiscal quarter. The company said its revenues are now expected to be in a range of $60-to-$63 million, down from a previous guidance of $70-to-80 million.
Brooks indicated that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States and the uncertainty about the impact of those events had pushed down its sales in the quarter, which ends Sept. 30. The supplier of wafer fab automation software and systems said the loss per share in the quarter could "substantially exceed" its previous forecasted range of breakeven to a loss of $0.10 per share.
"In response, the company is taking aggressive steps to reduce headcount by 175-to-200 people," said Robert J. Therrien, chief executive officer of Brooks Automation. He said the company would also "close facilities, revalue inventory due to anticipated demand changes in the marketplace and write down prior investments in information management systems (IMS)."
The CEO said the associated one-time, non-recurring charges and integration costs could be "up to approximately $25 million" in the company's fiscal fourth quarter, which ends Sept. 30.
The current situation, when added to the effects of the industry slowdown, will "result in revenue for the quarter below our previous expectation," Therrien warned. "Because of these lower revenue levels we expect earnings per share could range from a loss of $0.45 to a loss of $0.50 before amortization of acquired intangible assets, acquisition related charges and one time expenses."
Therrien said Brooks Automation expects cash flow from operations to be slightly positive in the current quarter and "slightly negative-to-breakeven in the December quarter." He said the company is currently predicting revenues of $55-to-65 million in the next fiscal quarter, ending Dec. 31. "We estimate our cost reduction programs have lowered our breakeven revenues to the range of $68-to-$70 million," he added.