JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU) has cut roughly one quarter of its 60-person work force at a research and development office in Morrisville.

Jim Monroe, senior director of corporate communications for the global high-tech firm, confirmed the cuts in an interview.

“We did do a small staff reduction,” Monroe said Wednesday morning. The cuts were “under 15” in Morrisville and were part of cut backs in the communications test and measurement group at a “small number in a handful of locations.”

The decision to make the cuts dates back to March when JDS Uniphase “announced that we would be taking steps to realign the business cost structure,” Monroe said. “This [layoff] really is execution of that strategy.”

The job cuts are “a fine tuning of the business” as the firm considers “how best to align growth opportunities with what customers need,” he added.

JDS Uniphase employs some 5,000 people worldwide and is continuing to recruit and hire employees, Monroe said.

For example, the Morrisville office has an opening for someone to work on smartgrid build-out and management, Monroe said.

The laid-off employees were given the opportunity to apply for open positions elsewhere in the company, Monroe noted.

JDS Uniphase reported $1.36 billion in revenues for its fiscal 2010 year. It operates some 80 locations worldwide.

The company describes itself as a “leading provider of optical products and test and measurement solutions for the communications industry.” Its “technology portfolio is a key enabler for optical solutions in industries such as broadband communications, brand enhancement and authentication, manufacturing and energy.”

Recently, JDS Uniphase reported its first annual profit since 1996, having lost more than $68 billion over a 14-year span, according to Bloomberg news. “[T]he biggest maker of fiber-optic testing equipment, has clawed its way back to profitability after digesting acquisitions and investing in new products,” Bloomberg noted.

For the nine months ending April 2, JDS Uniphase reported net income of $62.3 million.

The firm’s next quarter ends July 2, and analysts expect a profit of more than $50 million, Bloomberg noted.

However, in a report earlier this month, Zacks Equity Research downgraded JDS Uniphase stock to “underperform”

“Recent trends in the optical component industry indicate a glut of inventory on the part of the telecom carriers,” Zacks said. “The North American and European markets have yet to completely recover from the recession.”

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