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NEW YORK (AP) – American Express Co., plagued by the slowing economy and big losses in its high-risk investments, said Wednesday it will cut an additional 4,000 to 5,000 jobs.

The latest job cuts at the financial and travel services company are in addition to about 1,600 announced earlier this year.

Altogether, the cuts represent about 7 percent of American Express’ worldwide work force of 88,850 at the end of 2000.

The company also said it plans to write down the value of its high-yield investment portfolio and shift its holdings to lower-risk securities.

Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive, said the actions are being taken “to ensure that we’re in a strong position to navigate through what we expect to be a longer period of economic weakness.”

American Express said it expects its second-quarter earnings will decline 76 percent from $740 million a year ago.

The company said it will cut jobs in its technology group and continue to consolidate or outsource some processing activities.

It also plans to relocate certain finance, operations and customer service functions to less expensive overseas locations.

American Express fell $1.49 to $37.29 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Its stock has fallen more than 30 percent since the start of the year.

onthenet

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