Table: How to Write a Pink Slip

Wall Street punishes companies that cut jobs solely to reduce costs but rewards those whose layoffs are part of a strategic plan.

SEARS

Cut 2,400 jobs in January, 2001, as part of a restructuring that included closing 89 stores. Shares rose 30% in six months.

PRAXAIR

Cut 900 jobs in September, 2001, in response to the economic slowdown, while investing in new plants designed to pull it out of the slump. Shares rose 30% in three months.

PALM

Trimmed 250 jobs in March, 2001, to cut costs after a delayed product launch slowed demand. Shares lost nearly half their value in one day.

PROVIDIAN FINANCIAL

Reduced payroll by 550 jobs in November, 2001, to cut costs, but investors weren't convinced. Shares, down 90% in four months, never recovered.

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