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Ingram Micro, FileNet and Epicor Announce Layoffs

April 04, 2001|LESLIE EARNEST | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The general slowdown in the technology industry forced three more Orange County technology companies to say Tuesday that they are laying off employees, cutting expenses and restructuring or consolidating operations.

Software company FileNet Corp. in Costa Mesa said it plans to cut its worldwide work force by 10%, laying off about 190 workers, possibly including 80 workers in Orange County.

Ingram Micro Inc. in Santa Ana, the world's largest computer products distributor, said it will cut 470 jobs, including 42 in Orange County. The reduction amounts to nearly 3% of its 16,500 employees worldwide.

And Irvine-based Epicor Software Corp. said it is launching a restructuring that will involve "a reduction in work force and facilities." Epicor did not say how many jobs would be lost.

FileNet said it plans to complete its layoffs by the end of the month as part of a restructuring. The company informed workers Tuesday that the job cuts were coming but has not yet said which workers will be affected, Chief Executive Lee D. Roberts said.

The cutbacks are necessary because of major reductions in information technology spending by large corporate customers, he said.

FileNet said Monday that its first-quarter earnings were less than previously expected and would be lower than the $6.5 million earned in the first three months last year.

"Our long-term view is very positive about the company," Roberts said. "We think we're well-positioned. We think the company's going to grow quite nicely going forward. But currently, we have to deal with the economic landscape in the U.S., which is decidedly negative."

After the earnings announcement late Monday, Wall Street on Tuesday knocked 28% out of FileNet's value, dropping its stock $4.25 to close at $10.94 a share on Nasdaq.

Ingram Micro said its layoffs will come over the next two months in anticipation of a market slowdown that has plagued the computer industry.

The company will close a facility in Fullerton and will move the distribution operations to a new 800,000-square-foot facility in Mira Loma early next year, said Jennifer Marchetta, a company spokeswoman.

Ingram Micro initially planned to convert the Fullerton facility to a return center, she said, but the returns now will be handled in Mira Loma, in Riverside County.

Additionally, the company will close a plant in Columbus, Ohio, and move that operation to its Memphis, Tenn., facility, Marchetta said.

About 170 of the 470 job cuts will result from the consolidations, Marchetta said. The remaining 300 positions will be eliminated to cut costs. Most of those positions are in shipping and receiving, she said. Employees who are being laid off received two months' notice on Monday.

Ingram had said in late February that its first-quarter profit would be as much as 50% below analysts' forecasts because of slowing sales.

Ingram's stock gained 9 cents Tuesday to close at $12.65 a share on the New York Stock Exchange.

Epicor said in a news release that it expects weak sales in the first quarter because prospective customers have delayed purchases of enterprise and electronic business programs as they limit their capital spending and tighten their budgets.

The company said it expects first-quarter sales of $44 million to $46 million, well below its sales of $56.6 million in the first three months last year.

"Within these uncertain market conditions, we will carefully review and take the necessary steps to realign our cost structure," Chief Executive George Klaus said in a prepared statement. The restructuring will be carried out within the next several days, he said.

Epicor, which lost $40.7 million last year, said the moves will ensure that its business plan "reflects the current economic realities while maintaining our goal to return the company to profitability." Epicor narrowed its net losses in the fourth quarter, while revenue declined.

Epicor shares lost 6 cents Tuesday to close at $1.06 a share on Nasdaq.

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Times staff writer Karen Alexander contributed to this report.

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