Layne Christensen reports loss, layoffs

Layne Christensen Co. said Thursday that it lost money in the fourth quarter and has cut expenses by laying off employees, freezing wages, limiting travel and related expenses, and curbing its business investments.

Its loss measured between $23 million and $25 million on its continuing business operations during the fourth quarter, with final results due out April 15.

Shares of Layne fell 88 cents to $21.02.

The company’s fourth-quarter

preview announcement

said the total included between $6 million and $8 million in pre-tax charges from the sale of some products and technologies at its water resources and energy services division. The charges stem from writing off the value of the assets, which doesn’t drain Layne’s cash but is recorded as a loss.

Layne, however, did incur $4 million in severance and other expenses related to its plan to move to Texas. The Mission Woods-based company announced in December it would move to the Houston area after 88 years in the Kansas City area.

Revenue in the fourth quarter was about $230 million.

The announcement said Layne expected to raise about $20 million by selling some assets not needed for its core businesses.

It also said Layne had gained a new civil contract valued at $80 million.