Micron to Cut Less Than 5 Percent of Workers in Cost Reduction

Micron Technology Inc. (MU), the largest U.S. maker of computer-memory chips, said it will cut less than 5 percent of its workers to reduce costs and become more efficient.

Jobs will be eliminated through attrition, voluntary separations and firings through fiscal 2014, which ends in August of next year, the Boise, Idaho-based company said in an e-mailed statement. The cuts, taking place across Micron’s worldwide workforce of about 30,000, won’t include staff brought on board with the acquisition of Elpida Memory Inc. last month.

“Given the competitive and changing nature of the memory industry, Micron is continuously assessing its operations to ensure resources are efficiently and effectively aligned,” the company said in the statement.

Micron shares rose 8.2 percent to $14.97 at the close in New York, their highest price since November 2006. The cuts were announced internally yesterday, according to Dan Francisco, a spokesman for Micron.

Micron -- which has reported a net loss in five of the past 10 fiscal years -- competes with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. and SK Hynix Inc. (000660) in the market for chips that provide the main memory in personal computers.

SK Hynix, which like Micron only makes memory chips, had 20,000 employees as of March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company had net income, excluding minority interest, of 946.8 billion won ($849 million) in the three months that ended in June. Micron reported earnings of $43 million for the period that ended in May, its most recent quarter.

Samsung, the largest maker of memory chips, is also the world’s largest maker of mobile phones and has home-electronics and flat-panel display businesses.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at ianking@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net

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