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Credence Systems (CMOS) said Friday it is cutting 14% of its workforce and taking other measures to reduce costs, following last month's downwardly revised first-quarter revenue projection.

Shares of Credence fell 25 cents, to 1.2%, to $21.25 in recent



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The maker of automatic test equipment for the semiconductor industry said that, effective today, 200 people will lose their jobs. Remaining employees will be required to take one week off every quarter, until further notice.

The company also said it will consolidate and reorganize certain functions and operations, while controlling discretionary expenses.

"We believe the semiconductor industry is in the early stages of a sustained downturn and a recovery may not take place until late 2001 or 2002," the company said in a statement. "We are taking these steps to preserve the sound financial footing that Credence has earned, while at the same time ensuring that our customers are well-served and that the company remains strong and strategically positioned for the future.''

In January, the company said it expected revenue to fall at least 40% sequentially, citing weakening order activity and customer-requested shipment delays. The company reported revenue of $220.2 million in the fourth quarter. Credence is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on Feb. 14.