SAN FRANCISCO—Semiconductor test and packaging house Amkor Technology Inc. Thursday (Feb. 9) revealed that it took a $4 million charge in the fourth quarter of 2011 for restructuring costs associated with reduction in its workforce. The company did not specify how many jobs were eliminated.
A spokesman for Amkor said the company cut some jobs in the third quarter and some in the fourth quarter. Both actions eliminated jobs at Amkor's manufacturing facilities in the Philippines. The spokesman declined to specify how many jobs were cut.
"We continued to focus on cost reduction initiatives in the fourth quarter," said Joanne Solomon, Amkor's executive vice president and chief financial officer, in a statement.
Amkor (Chandler, Ariz.) said it has also initiated a voluntary retirement program in Japan as part of its continuing efforts to rationalize its cost structure. The company said it expects to take a charge of about $6 million in the first quarter, depending on how many employees choose to take the voluntary retirement.
Amkor reported net sales of $684 million for the fourth quarter, down 8 percent from the previous quarter and 9 percent from the year-ago quarter. The company reported a net income for the quarter of $25.6 million, down 50 percent from the previous quarter and down 73 percent compared ot the year-ago quarter.
For the full year 2011, Amkor reported sales of $2.78 billion, down 5 percent from 2010. The company reported a net income for the year of $92 million, down 60 percent from 2010.
"During the fourth quarter we saw record quarterly sales in our wireless communications end market driven by strong demand for smartphones and tablets," said Ken Joyce, Amkor's president and CEO, in a statement. "We also experienced a seasonal decline in gaming and consumer electronics and some softness in demand in the networking, automotive and industrial areas."
Amkor said it expects sales in the first quarter to decline 3 to 10 percent sequentially to between $615 million and $665 million.
"We continue to focus on improving utilization and rationalizing our cost structure," Joyce said. "These efforts are gaining traction and we expect that our gross margin in the first quarter will be the bottom for the year."
Considering that the semiconductor industry has been in a downturn, I don't think it's surprising to see Amkor's sales slipped a bit in Q4. As far as cutting jobs, the company seems to be very focused on reducing costs.