Nvidia Trims Workforce by 6% - TheStreet

SAN FRANCISCO --

Nvidia

(NVDA) - Get Report

is the latest tech shop to dust off the pink slips, announcing Thursday that it is cutting 6.5% of its workforce.

The Santa Clara, Calif., maker of graphics processors said it will incur a restructuring charge of between $7 million and $10 million in the current quarter as a result of the layoffs.

Calling the layoffs difficult, but necessary in light of current business realities, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said Nvidia would continue to invest in selective high-growth opportunities.

"We are taking fast action to enhance our competitive position and restore our financial performance," Huang said in a statement. "All of us at NVIDIA are determined to emerge from these challenges an even stronger company."

The job cuts -- Nvidia's first since becoming a publicly traded company 9 years ago -- come a few days after Silicon Valley giant

Hewlett-Packard

(HPQ) - Get Report

announced plans to

layoff almost 25,000

in the wake of its $13.9 billion acquisition of EDS.

While Hewlett-Packard has so far shown itself immune to the economic troubles roiling various businesses, Nvidia is cutting its workforce as is strives to regain its footing amid fierce competition from a re-invigorated ATI, a division of

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

, slackening consumer demand for the desktop PCs that use its chips and a defect in some of its products.

In August, Nvidia posted its first quarterly loss in six years as $196 million in product defect charges put a dent in its income statement and aggressive price cuts eroded its profit margins. The company's stock price has plummeted roughly 45% since July.

Nvidia is also investing heavily in new projects to diversify its business, including its recently launched Tegra chip for handheld Internet gadgets and an initiative that transforms its graphics processors into general purpose computing engines.

Nvidia hinted that cost-cutting was in the offing in August when Huang acknowledged that the company's operating expenses were too high.

Thursday's move will allow Nvidia to save $7 million to $8 million a quarter, the company said.

In all, the layoffs will affect 360 employees, spread across Nvidia's various departments and geographic regions, and will be completed by the end of the current quarter.

An Nvidia spokesperson said the company is not planning any further actions to reduce costs and that the company was not altering its financial outlook.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect Nvidia to earn 14 cents on revenue of $913 million in the current quarter.