Nortel Q3 revenue falls across all segments

Nortel Networks Thursday reported a net loss of US$1.80 billion for its fiscal third quarter and said revenue declined from a year earlier in each of its main product sectors.

The deficit for the quarter, ended Sept. 30, translated into a net loss of $0.42 per common share, the company said in a statement. That's an improvement over the same period last year, when the Brampton, Ontario, network equipment vendor reported a loss of $3.47 billion, or $1.08 per common share.

Revenue for the quarter was $2.36 billion, down from $3.69 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2001, the company said.

The aforementioned income figures are based on generally accepted accounting principles. On a pro forma basis, excluding various special charges and costs, the company reported a net loss of $420 million, or $0.10 per share, compared to a pro forma net loss a year earlier of $2.18 billion, or $0.68 per common share, the company said.

Analysts had been expecting a pro forma loss of $0.11 per share on revenue of $2.38 billion, according to a poll by First Call/Thomson Financial.

Like other network equipment vendors, Nortel has battled declining revenue, due largely to a sharp slump in spending among service providers and large businesses. Earlier this month it announced a broad reorganization intended to help reduce costs and streamline its business.

Nortel said it expects to have sufficient cash to fund its business, manage its investments and meet its commitments to customers, Doug Beatty, Nortel's chief financial officer, said in the statement Thursday. The company expects to have a cash balance of $3 billion by the end of 2002, he said.

Pressures on customer spending are likely to continue "well into 2003," Nortel officials said. The company will continue to cut costs and pursue its "top priority" of returning to profitability by the second quarter of 2003, the officials said.

Compared to the third quarter of 2001, revenue from its wireless networks segment decreased 30 percent, revenue from its enterprise networks unit fell 10 percent, revenue from its wireline networks segment declined 49 percent, and revenue from its optical networks segment declined 47 percent, "representing substantial decreases across all major regions," the company said.

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