T. Rowe Price’s first-quarter earnings fell 68% to $48.2 million, or 19 cents a share, from $151.5 million, or 55 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2008. Revenue fell 31% to $384.5 million, down from $559.1 million.

As a direct result of this poor performance, T. Rowe said that it has eliminated 288 positions, or 5.5% of its staff. Most of the positions were in the call center and the back office. This is the first layoff wave T. Rowe price has undertaken since the beginning of the financial crisis, though it eliminated 3.1% other positions since the beginning of the year through attrition and retirements.

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