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July 16, 1998|Bloomberg News

* Watkins-Johnson Co. said it cut 180 employees in the second quarter, or 15% of its work force, and plans shutdowns of as many as 16 days at three U.S. plants as it reported lower-than-expected second-quarter earnings. The Palo Alto-based maker of equipment for the semiconductor and telecommunications industries plans to shut its plants in Palo Alto and Scotts Valley and in Gaithersburg, Md., in coming months for scattered "holidays," spokesman Frank Emery said. Shares of Watkins-Johnson fell $1.44 to close at $24.81 on the NYSE. Watkins-Johnson had a second-quarter loss of $6.21 million, or 75 cents a diluted share, contrasted with earnings of $3.08 million, or 37 cents, a year earlier. The company was expected to lose 50 cents, the average estimate of three analysts surveyed by First Call Corp. Sales fell 26% to $53.7 million from $72.7 million.

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