SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. computer chip giant Intel joined a growing list of companies downsizing, saying it would let 5,000 workers go and close at least four production plants.
The chip maker plans to close plants in Santa Clara, Calif., Hillsboro, Ore., Penang, Malaysia and Cavite, Philippines, the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reported Thursday.
In a corporate Webcast, Intel's Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini told employees the company might operate at a loss for the first quarter of the year. Last week, Intel reported fourth quarter revenues of $8.2 billion with earnings of $234 million.
Executives have offered a preliminary estimate of first quarter revenues for 2009 of about $7 billion, the newspaper said.
Industry analyst Craig Berger of FBR Capital Markets noted the computer chip industry has "seen pretty significant deterioration in demand."
Nathan Brookwood, a research fellow at Insight 64 said Intel was still strong.
"If Intel can't do OK in the longer term, then the United States economy and the world economy are in one heck of a lot of trouble," he said.
Company spokesman Chuck Mulloy said Intel executives have been considering restructuring for a while, but "this whole thing has been accelerated by the current economic climate."