So far, first-quarter earnings reports by big public companies have been disappointing -- and not just in terms of profit declines, for which we can blame last quarter's low oil prices and market volatility. Another sore spot has been how many companies gave workers the ax.
Employers announced nearly 185,000 job cuts in the first quarter of 2016, according to Challenger Gray & Christmas. That tally was up 32% from the first quarter of 2015 and up 76% from the fourth quarter, the executive search firm reported.
Roughly 27% of those job cuts last quarter were directly tied to falling oil prices, hitting the energy and industrial sectors in the gut. The ever-changing retail and tech industries -- specifically companies that make personal computers -- also saw their fair share of employee layoffs, Challenger Gray & Christmas said.
"What these sectors share in common is that they are all going through transformational changes," CEO John Challenger said in the March 31 release. "We, as a nation, and really as a global community, are changing the way we produce and consume energy. We are also changing the way we buy goods and services. Technology is in a constant state of change, and, currently, we are shifting away from computing at our desks to computing on our phones and tablets."
Here are 11 companies that announced job cuts along with their earnings reports. Some of the job cuts have already happened, while most will be forthcoming over the rest of 2016 and beyond.
Along with reporting a 92% drop in profit for the first three months of the year, Alcoa said it cut 600 jobs from its parts manufacturing business that is expected to be spun off later this year. The company plans to eliminate another 400 positions this year, with the possibility of an additional 1,000 cuts, according to the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review.
Coach (COH) announced that it would eliminate more than 300 positions worldwide, mainly coming from its corporate staff, not from retail stores. The reduction represents a 2% reduction in the handbag retailer's total workforce.
Coach's CEO Victor Luis noted in Wednesday's earnings call that the workforce reduction is part of an operational efficiency plan launched to create "a more agile streamlined corporate structure enabling us to be more responsive to rapidly changing business conditions."
Coach will incur pretax charges of $65 to $80 million as part of the cost-cutting plan.
The retailer is in the midst of a turnaround as it defends its turf against competitors such as Michael Kors (KORS) . Coach had been criticized for too much discounting of products and straying too far from its traditional look. Under executive creative director Stuart Vevers, who took the job at Coach in mid-2013, Coach's first quarter benefited from the launch of its 1941 collection, which commemorates its 75th anniversary, and an aggressive marketing push. The company has also pulled back on promotional pushes.
Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) slashed the headcount within its struggling oil and gas subsidiary by roughly 25% in April as the Phoenix-based mining company dealt with lower oil and other commodity prices and weak global demand.
Freeport-McMoRan has been trying to sell its oil and gas business, which it acquired in 2013, without much luck. It said on April 5 that instead of selling the unit it would roll it up to become an operating division of the broader company as opposed to a separate entity. That plan resulted in the elimination of executive management, financial and administrative roles within the division, it said.
"These changes reflect our focus on reducing costs throughout our global organization in response to a challenging commodity market environment," CEO Richard Adkerson said in the April 5 statement.
"We are continuing to look for ways to reduce costs through looking at office facilities and other cost elements," CFO Kathleen Quirk told analysts during its earnings call on April 26.
Freeport-McMoRan employed approximately 34,500 employees in total as of Dec. 31, 2015.
BlackRock (BLK) trimmed approximately 3% of its workforce as the money manager behemoth looks to "streamline and simplify" its organization.
BlackRock, with $4.65 trillion in managed assets, has not been immune to the global market challenges over the past year.
The money manager took a restructuring charge of $76 million during the first quarter, primarily related to severance and deferred compensation awards for approximately 400 employees, it said on April 14 as part of its quarterly earnings report.
"As we stated last quarter, we remain committed to investing in a number of strategic initiatives that will further enhance our client value proposition and generate long-term value for shareholders. Doing so requires us to be smarter at reallocating resources in challenging markets," CFO Gary Shedlin said on the company's earnings call. "With that in mind this quarter we undertook restructuring to streamline and simplify the organization. For the goal of efficiently optimizing growth, it will also create new opportunities for our strongest people."
The Wall Street Journal noted that CEO Larry Fink has highlighted several areas of growth for the firm, including exchange-traded funds, hedge funds and other investment alternatives, real estate and infrastructure and multi-asset strategies.
BlackRock cut 300 jobs in 2013, the Journal article said.
Bob Evans Farms (BOBE) announced the closure of 27 restaurants, or approximately 5% of the chain of family restaurants in April, that will result in laying off 1,100 workers. The company said that of the group, 21 locations are owned and have already been closed. The other six leased locations will be closed over the course of its fiscal 2017.
"Decisions to close restaurant locations are always difficult," Saed Mohseni, Bob Evans' president and CEO said in a statement. "Performance at each of these locations, despite the loyalty of valued guests and the efforts of our dedicated employees, was not meeting expectations. Employees impacted by closures have been offered positions in nearby restaurants where possible. In cases where relocation is not possible, severance benefits will be offered to full-time and part-time employees."
The company expects to incur $7.5 million to $8 million of expenses related to the closures. The sale of the owned properties is expected to yield $20 million in proceeds. Bob Evans said that while the locations generated $30 million in annual revenue, "the action is expected to improve annual operating income by approximately $1 million," according to the April 25 release.
Intel (INTC) is laying off 12,000 workers, or 11% of its global workforce, by mid-2017 as the company pivots from a provider of chips for PCs to a greater focus on faster-growing cloud and data center businesses, as well as the "Internet of Things" and memory and programmable solutions, according to Business Insider.
Intel expects the program to deliver $750 million in savings this year and have an annual run rate savings of $1.4 billion by mid-2017, it said in an April 20 release.
"Our results over the last year demonstrate a strategy that is working and a solid foundation for growth," CEO Brian Krzanich said in the release. "The opportunity now is to accelerate this momentum and build on our strengths.
"These actions drive long-term change to further establish Intel as the leader for the smart, connected world," he added. "I am confident that we'll emerge as a more productive company with broader reach and sharper execution."
The first quarter was an ugly one for Halliburton (HAL) . The Houston-based oil field services company laid off 6,000 workers this past quarter and took a $2.1 billion restructuring charge primarily to pay severance expenses as the oil downturn wreaked havoc on the industry. Halliburton had 65,000 employees as of Dec. 31, 2015.
While Halliburton has pushed back its first-quarter earnings call to May 3 due to the merger deadline with Baker Hughes, the company said in its operational update that revenue dropped 17% to $4.2 billion last quarter.
"Life has changed in the energy industry, especially in North America, and over the past several quarters we have taken the steps to adapt to that fact," said Dave Lesar, Halliburton's chairman and CEO. "Operators globally are under immense pressure, and many of our North America customers are fighting to maintain some value for their shareholders. Our goal is to work with those customers to get through these tough times."
Caterpillar (CAT) announced 820 job cuts by closing five facilities in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Mississippi, as part of the construction and mining equipment maker's larger global restructuring plan announced in September 2015 that is supposed to save the company $1.5 billion each year once fully implemented. The Peoria, Ill.-based company said then that it plans to reduce its workforce by up to 5,000 by the end of 2016, but it is possible to see as many as 10,000 jobs cut by closing manufacturing facilities through 2018.
Caterpillar has been grappling with sluggish sales given weak demand for mining and construction machinery. In an effort to offset these headwinds, the company is scaling back on its production.
The company reported lower-than-expected earnings for the 2016 first quarter. Profit of 67 cents a share missed forecasts by a cent, while sales of $9.46 billion topped forecasts but were still down from the $12.7 billion it reported the year prior.
"We are facing a convergence of challenging marketplace conditions in key regions and industry sectors -- namely in mining and energy," said Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman said in September. "While we've already made substantial adjustments as these market conditions have emerged, we are taking even more decisive actions now. We don't make these decisions lightly, but I'm confident these additional steps will better position Caterpillar to deliver solid results when demand improves."
Goldman Sachs (GS) plans to cut as many as 109 jobs this year. The investment behemoth told regulators last month that it wanted to expand its so-called "warn notice" that was filed with the Department of Labor to 109 employees from 43 originally, according to a Bloomberg article from March 24.
The Bloomberg article didn't say which part of the company the cuts were coming from or why, other than that the move was for economic reasons.
The market turmoil, low interest rates and stiffer regulation have taken a bite out of profits at Goldman and other investment firms, the article said.
The cuts are expected to occur between "May 9 and Dec. 31," Bloomberg said.
Along with its $725 million profit loss for the first quarter due to lower oil prices, energy giant Chevron (CVX) bumped up its planned workforce reduction this year. Chevron now plans to cut up to 8,000 jobs by the end of 2016, or 12% of its workforce, up from between 6,000 and 7,000 employees originally announced.
Chevron executives said the company has reduced its headcount by more than 4,000 employees since the end of 2014. It also plans to reduce its contractor workforce by 6,500, the company said.
The positions will mainly come from its corporate headquarters in Seattle as opposed to sales-floor positions, the article said.
Nordstrom employs roughly 70,000 people. According to the article, the cuts should be completed by July and are expected to save Nordstrom approximately $60 million.
The Los Angeles-based teen clothing chain could cut more as it emerges from bankruptcy. The "Made in the U.S.A." retailer is considering outsourcing production to another manufacturer but said garments would still be made in the U.S., according to the Echo Park-Silver Lake Patch.
American Apparel filed for bankruptcy in October following the retailer's tumultuous fight with ousted controversial founder and former CEO Dov Charney. Charney was fired for alleged misconduct with several female workers, who filed sexual harassment suits against him.