Lucent predicts poor fourth quarter

Lucent Technologies Inc. on Friday warned that revenue in its fourth quarter will be much lower than predicted due to the continued decline in spending by telecommunication companies, particularly in North America.

The Murray Hill, New Jersey, communications equipment maker expects revenue in the quarter, ending this month, to fall 20 percent to 25 percent from the US$2.95 billion recorded in the fiscal third quarter, Lucent said in a statement. The loss would mark the 10th consecutive quarterly loss for the company. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call had expected Lucent to post a loss in the fourth quarter of $0.16 per share, but Lucent said it expects a pro forma loss per share of approximately $0.45.

Along with declining revenue, Lucent is struggling with charges associated with "a significant customer financing default this month," as well as the inability to recognize tax benefits on losses, the company said.

Lucent said it will be able to meet its obligations for servicing its debt in the forth quarter. With continued efforts to restructure the company, Lucent predicted it will return to profitability by the end of fiscal 2003.

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