AT&T Inc, the largest U.S. telecommunications provider, said it would cut about 1.5 percent, or about 4,650 of its workforce incurring a pre-tax charge of $378 million.

The company says it is the next step for operating more efficiently after bringing together several companies in recent years, the company said in a regulatory filing on Friday. The positions are mostly in non-customer facing areas.

This initiative is part of the company's move from a collection of regional companies to one AT&T focused on customers, AT&T said.

The company, which had 310,000 employees as of January 31, said the company's headcount would remain stable in 2008 as it hires new employees to support growth areas.

Shares of AT&T rose 27 cents, or 0.72 percent to reach $37.85 at 12:36 p.m. in New York.