Lucent revenue rises, but profit takes a dive

Lucent Technologies reported a small year-on-year increase in revenue for the first quarter of its fiscal year 2005, but net income was halved compared to a year earlier.

Revenue for the three months to Dec. 31 rose to US$2.34 billion, up 3.4 percent from $2.26 billion in the corresponding quarter of 2003, the company reported Wednesday. Gross margin increased slightly, from 41 percent to 42 percent, and operating income for the quarter rose 17.7 percent, from $271 million to $319 million.

However, Lucent's net income for the quarter fell 50.1 percent to $174 million, down from $349 million in the year-earlier quarter. Earnings per share for the quarter were $0.04, compared to $0.07 a year earlier.

During the quarter, the telecommunications network vendor won its first major order for 3G (third generation) equipment based on the UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) standard, from Cingular Wireless, in a market that is growing, it said.

With most of the action in the wireless market, the company is investing for the long term in fixed-line technologies such as broadband access, new optical transmission systems and VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol).

Lucent expects a 4 percent to 6 percent increase in revenue for fiscal year 2005, compared to 2004 -- a performance it believes will equal or beat the rest of the market growth rate.

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