Bristol-Myers to Cut $1.5 Billion in Costs by 2010

Bristol-Myers Squibb, as part of an expected restructuring, said that by 2010 it would cut its workforce by 10 percent and slash the number of its manufacturing plants by more than half, to generate an additional $1.5 billion in savings.

Bristol shares slipped less than 1 percent in Wednesday trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

The New York-based drugmaker raised its 2008 earnings forecast, excluding special items, to $1.65 to $1.75 per share, from a previous view of $1.60 to $1.70 per share.

It also increased its dividend by 11 percent, the first increase since 2002.

Bristol-Myers also plans to sell its medical imaging business and is reviewing strategic alternatives for its Convatec wound healing unit and Mead Johnson nutritionals unit.

The transactions would bring the company cash that could be plowed into its higher-profit core pharmaceuticals business.