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LDK Slides to Four-Month Low on Reports of Planned Firings

LDK Solar Co., the world’s second-largest maker of solar wafers, sank to the lowest level in more than four months in the U.S. after Chinese media reported the company is planning to fire and reassign workers.

LDK, based in Xinyu in China’s Jiangxi province, dropped 2.4 percent to $3.30 in New York, the lowest level since Nov. 25. The shares earlier lost as much as 6.5 percent to $3.16.

The company is making personnel changes involving several teams in its wafer department, the National Business Daily said in a report dated April 10 on its website, citing LDK’s public relations division. The adjustments are “intended to control costs and increase efficiency” and will mainly include dismissing or assigning excess personnel to other departments, the Shanghai-based newspaper reported, citing e-mails on April 9 from LDK’s spokesman Li Longji.

Calls to LDK’s U.S. phone number during business hours weren’t answered.

A person claiming to be an employee of LDK said yesterday in an Internet posting that the company will fire people “on a large scale,” the Shanghai-based China Business News said in a report today on its website. Those who have worked at LDK for less than three years will be dismissed, the paper said, citing the worker’s online post.

LDK currently has about 25,000 employees and there are approximately 10,000 working at its solar wafer plant, China Business News said, citing an unidentified person from LDK.

Analysts at Nomura Singapore Ltd. reiterated a reduce rating on LDK’s stock on April 4, retaining a 12-month price target of $2.50. Auriga USA LLC maintained a sell recommendation and a price goal of $3 on the same day.

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