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Praxair Inc. Announces 900 Job Cuts

September 28, 2001

DANBURY, Conn. (AP) _ Praxair Inc. said Friday it will cut 900 jobs, or 4 percent of its work force, and take a third-quarter restructuring charge because of the weakened economy.

The industrial gases and coatings company said the pretax charge would be around $65 million to $70 million. Praxair had about 23,500 employees at the end of 2000.

``We are disappointed to have to take these actions, but believe they are prudent and appropriate given the current outlook,″ chairman Dennis Reilley said Friday.

``Going forward, this will ensure that we have the lowest cost structure possible and that we have a strong base from which to grow in a weaker economic environment,″ he said. ``Our intent is to stay ahead of this situation. If the global economies are stronger than anticipated, all the better. If they are not, we will be ready.″

Praxair makes high-performance coatings for aircraft engines and parts and supplies engine repair services. The company said it expects a drop in commercial jet engine production and servicing which will only partly be offset by military orders in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Praxair’s corporate, procurement and plant engineering and construction groups will be hardest hit, with 400 jobs being eliminated because of the economic slowdown. The company said it would consolidate its industrial gases research and development activities at its Tonawanda, N.Y., technical center, and close its research facility in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Praxair said it expected third-quarter earnings per share to be 72 cents per share before nonrecurring costs, with fourth-quarter earnings slightly lower.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call expected Praxair to earn 72 cents per share in both the third and fourth quarters, and $2.98 for the year. The company said it would hold offer further financial guidance when it releases its earns Oct. 24.

Praxair’s stock rose 72 cents to $41.99 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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