Web Broker CSFBdirect Says It Will Fire 180

Bloomberg News

CSFBdirect, the Internet brokerage unit of Credit Suisse First Boston, said Thursday it will fire 180 employees in its second round of job reductions since March, as investors shun online stock trading.

CSFBdirect, which fired 150 in March, expects the latest job cuts--14% of its U.S. work force--to save $22 million a year.

"This is just another in a chain of cuts," said Putnam Lovell analyst Richard Repetto, who rates the company's shares "hold."

Online brokers such as CSFBdirect, No. 1 Charles Schwab Corp. and Ameritrade Holding Corp. have been firing employees and slashing costs since late last year. The stock market's plunge in 2000 left individual investors reluctant to trade online, crushing profits at the firms that grew as U.S. stocks boomed.

Shares of CSFBdirect (DIR) fell 4 cents to $4.97 on the NYSE.

In March, Credit Suisse First Boston announced plans to buy back the online broker's outstanding shares for $4 apiece. Some shareholders are suing because they think the offer is too low.

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