FedEx to offer voluntary buyout to some U.S. employees

MEMPHIS, Mon Aug 13, 2012 – FedEx Corp.  said it will offer voluntary buyout incentives to certain U.S.-based employees to reduce costs as slow economic growth hurts shipping volumes and customers demand cheaper delivery options.

FedEx, which competes with United Parcel Service, said it expects the vast majority of those eligible for these incentives to be staff employees at its units FedEx Express and FedEx Services. The incentives will be offered to mostly non-operational staff groups.

The company said in June it is stepping up cost cutting measures. It said it expects the European debt crisis and slowing growth in Asia to impact the domestic and the global economic conditions.

FedEx said it is determining which workgroups will be eligible for these incentives and the program will not include any changes to retirement eligibility or payments.

It expects to provide more details at its investors and lenders meeting on Oct. 9 and 10, the company said.

Shares of FedEx closed at $87.80 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

HP to lay off 27,000 over next few years, profit slides 31 percent

SAN FRANCISCO, Thu May 24, 2012 – Hewlett Packard Co. plans to lay off roughly 27,000 employees or about 8 percent of its workforce over the next couple of years to jumpstart growth and save up to $3.5 billion annually, sending its shares 11 percent higher.

The company said the layoffs would be made mainly through early retirement and would generate annual savings of $3 billion to $3.5 billion as it exits fiscal year 2014, when the layoffs are expected to the completed.

The world’s No. 1 personal computer maker, which employs more than 300,000 people globally, also said on Wednesday that it had a 31 percent decline in second-quarter profit and a 3 percent decline in revenue, compared with a year ago.

The results, however, were better than Wall Street expectations.

Layoffs “adversely impact people’s lives, but in this case, they are absolutely critical to the long-term health of the company,” Chief Executive Meg Whitman said.

“This is broad based,” she said in an interview. “By design, it will touch all of HP.”

Whitman said a third of the layoffs would be in the United States. The company will take a pretax charge of $1.7 billion in fiscal 2012 related to the layoffs.

Whitman plans to boost spending on research and development, especially in printing and PCs, with the savings from the cost cuts.

Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu said the quarter was surprisingly strong for HP, which had missed its own forecast most quarters in the last 18 months and prior to Whitman taking over as CEO.

Bank of America cutting 3,500 jobs this quarter: memo

CHARLOTTE, N.C. ― Bank of America is cutting 3,500 jobs this quarter according to an internal memo, as the biggest U.S. bank grapples with its $1 trillion problem-loan portfolio and growing economic concerns.

The job cuts at Bank of America, expected to be completed by the end of September, are the latest in a series of lay-offs across the global finance industry.

“The third quarter reductions in force are not part of the New BAC Project, through which employees and managers are working to transform policies, practices and organizations to better align to the company’s customer-driven strategy,” an internal communications seen by Reuters said.

Bank of America was not immediately available for comment.

.Executives at the bank are still discussing the possible range of cuts, but one person familiar with the situation said at least 10,000 jobs are likely to be eliminated as part of a wider review, the Wall Street Journal said in a report.

Bank of America had about 280,000 employees at the start of 2011, according to its annual report.

Investors believe Bank of America may also need to raise money by offering new shares to help absorb billions in legal and credit costs stemming from its 2008 purchase of Countrywide Financial Corp.

Eager to shed assets and rebuild its battered capital base, Bank of America said on Monday it plans to sell its $8.6 billion Canadian credit card portfolio to TD Bank Group

.The bank also wants to exit its United Kingdom and Ireland card businesses, but has yet to decide whether to sell or wind down those operations, its spokesman Jerry Dubrowski said.

This was followed by an announcement Thursday, naming an executive from its Merrill Lynch investment banking unit to oversee its bad mortgages.

Bank of America has lost more than $22 billion in its consumer mortgage division in the last four quarters.

It agreed in June to pay $8.5 billion to mortgage securities investors and is fighting numerous lawsuits challenging the settlement and other mortgage issues.

Analysts say Bank of America is likely to continue selling similar pieces of its loan portfolio, which have had a small impact on its bottom line, but may still be attractive to outside bidders.