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What: It's been a roller coaster of a day for shares of MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR), with shares opening down roughly 9%, only to pop up to a 10% gain, then give it back and is trading near even for the day after the company announced a global restructuring.

So what: The company announced a handful of actions to be taken during the fourth quarter, including reducing its global workforce, slimming down production capacity, and reducing operating costs. MEMC will take a charge of roughly $700 million, of which $520 million is noncash. More than half of the remaining $180 million in cash charges is expected to occur after 2012.

Now what: MEMC is cutting 1,300 positions globally, which represents roughly 20% of its workforce, including 250 domestic positions. It will be idling its Merano, Italy, polysilicon facility and may even shutter the plant unless it can achieve cost and power reductions in the short term. A crystal facility in Portland, Ore., will see some production capacity reductions as well. The solar materials and SunEdison business units will also be combined into a single solar energy business unit starting next year. Slimming down and refocusing is always a tough call and creates uncertainty for investors, but in the end sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

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