) increased 0.6% to $44.50, highest since the peak in 2000, after the company announced job cuts as much as 18,000 or 14% of its workforce which are primarily focused on the recently acquired Nokia Group in Finland.
Nokia related cuts were accepted after the company had announced at the time of acquisition annual cuts of $600 million a year. About 12,500 of the layoff will cut the overlapping staffs between Microsoft and Nokia division and the rest 5,500 staff will be in various Microsoft units.
The company said it plans to take pre-tax charge of $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion over the next four quarters related to the layoffs. This is the second job cuts at Microsoft since 2009 when chief executive Steve Ballmer eliminated 6% or 5,800 staff at the height of recession.