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Thursday slashed its 2001 earnings target by more than 20% and cut 4,300 jobs. The maker of optical networking components joined the long list of telecom giants warning that industrywide spending is falling off a cliff.

For its first quarter, Corning earned 29 cents a share on a pro forma basis, 6 cents better than the year-ago period and a penny better than the analyst consensus published by

Thomson Financial/First Call

. But Corning also cut second-quarter and 2001 earnings targets, saying its telecommunications businesses had been hard hit by the industrywide spending pullback. Optical components rival

JDS Uniphase


this week deepened its own job cuts and reduced earnings and revenue guidance as well, citing the same slowdown problem Corning is seeing.

Corning shares rose 35 cents in after-hours trading on


after the news. In regular trading ahead of the release, Corning fell 98 cents to $21.

Corning cut its 2001 earnings target to 90 cents-$1 a share, down from 2000 earnings of $1.23 a share and previous 2001 estimates of $1.20-$1.30. Second-quarter earnings should come in at 18-21 cents a share, down from 31 cents a year ago and short of the 28-cent analyst target.

Noting the spending softness across the industry, Corning said it would cut capital spending by 20% and reduce inventories for the rest of the year. Other companies in the telecom equipment industry have made similar remarks in recent weeks, highlighted by



staggering $2.5 billion inventory writedown, unveiled last week.


first backed off its bullish projections back in February, saying it would cut 875 jobs to trim costs as the spending pullback became apparent. In Thursday's announcement the company said it will cut 4,300 full- and part-time jobs by the end of the month as the slowdown deepens. Corning said it would take a second-quarter charge to cover restructuring costs and that it might lay off more workers if the downturn steepens. The company employs around 40,000 workers.