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In a move widely anticipated on Wall Street, chip-equipment supplier

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Applied Materials, Inc. Report

said after the closing bell that it will lay off 11% of its workforce, or 1,750 people.

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The company said it will take a restructuring charge in its first fiscal quarter ending Jan. 26, 2003. Most of the cuts will take place in its Silicon Valley operations, with the remainder in the Austin office.

In a statement, CEO James Morgan said management had been forced to make staff cuts when "stringent cost-savings programs" proved insufficient.

Some analysts had been expecting even deeper layoffs. Earlier today, Prudential Security's Shekhar Pramanick released a note today predicting a head-count reduction almost twice the size of that announced, or 20% of the work force. Pramanick, who was traveling, could not immediately be reached for comment.

AMAT may be holding the line on more sweeping job cuts because some analysts think it reduced staff too quickly in the last downturn, forcing the company to scramble when business picked up.

In afterhours trading, shares dipped 32 cents or 2%. Earlier, the stock closed up 41 cents, or 2.6%, to $16.13.