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Bristol-Myers to eliminate 4,300 jobs

December 06, 2007|From the Associated Press

NEW YORK — Pharmaceutical maker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said Wednesday that it would lay off about 4,300 employees and close more than half its manufacturing plants, part of a broad restructuring aimed at cost savings of $1.5 billion by 2010.

The company, whose bestselling product is the anticoagulant Plavix, also lowered its 2007 earnings guidance and said it would spin off its medical imaging business. Bristol-Myers is also reviewing options for ConvaTec, a wound care supplier, and Mead Johnson Nutritionals.

"It is difficult to see our valued colleagues leave the company, but right-sizing our workforce across all areas is critical to achieving our productivity goals and enhancing the competitive position of the company," Chief Executive James Cornelius said.

The job cuts represent 10% of the staff and will be made largely in 2008 and 2009, the company said. The company also said it would close more than 50% of its manufacturing facilities by the end of 2010.

The company also hinted at more buyouts, saying it "seeks to reallocate resources to enable additional strategic acquisitions," such as the recent purchase of biopharmaceutical firm Adnexus Therapeutics.

Bristol-Myers now expects 2007 net earnings of $1.15 to $1.20 a share. The company, however, reaffirmed its adjusted earnings guidance at the high end of the range of $1.42 to $1.47 a share.

For 2008, the company forecast adjusted earnings of $1.65 to $1.75 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected earnings of $1.46 for 2007 and $1.72 for 2008.

Shares of New York-based Bristol-Myers rose 20 cents to $29.26 on Wednesday.

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