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HP warns employees about possible future job cuts

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) _ Hewlett-Packard Co. warned employees that more job cuts are possible beyond those previously announced as a result of its planned $16.8 billion merger with Compaq Computer Corp.

In an online employee notice that was filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, HP said more jobs may be cut before the merger as decisions are made on exiting businesses, consolidations and outsourcing.

HP and Compaq previously announced that 15,000 jobs, or about 10 percent of the combined work force, would be cut in the first two years after the merger closes.

``During the period between now and the closing, HP will continue to make decisions that may involve further reductions in staffing levels in defined areas of the company,'' according to the notice.

An HP spokeswoman said the filing contained no new information, and that the possibility of additional job cuts had previously been announced to employees and in news releases as early as July.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP and Houston-based Compaq announced their stock-swap deal last month. The merger still must be approved by regulators and the shareholders of both companies.

The value of the deal dropped by a third from $25 billion when it was announced Sept. 4, as HP's stock price has swooned.

HP shares fell 45 cents to $15.60 in Monday trading on the New York Stock Exchange and lost another 32 cents in after-hours trading. Compaq gained 2 cents to $8.33 on the NYSE but lost 67 cents after hours.
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