Lucent: Q2 continues troublesome string

Lucent Technologies posted on Wednesday yet another quarterly loss as its network operator customers continue to spend sparingly.

The telecommunications equipment manufacturer reported a loss for the second quarter, ending March 31, of $553 million compared to US$535 million for the same period a year ago, it said in a statement. The company's loss from continuing operations was $351 million.

The second quarter 2003 results amounted to a loss of US$0.14 per share. Excluding one-time items, comprising charges associated with the global settlement of Lucent's shareowner litigation, the loss was $0.08. This was narrower than the $0.10 forecast, also excluding one-time charges, from analysts polled by Thomson First Call.

Revenue for the second-quarter ending March 31 dipped to $2.4 billion from $3.5 billion a year ago.

Lucent provided no forecast for its third or fourth quarters but said it continues "to work toward a return to profitability the late fiscal 2003."

At the end of March, Lucent had $3.4 billion in cash and short-term investments, representing a decline of approximately $300 million in the quarter, according to the statement. But the Murray Hill, New Jersey, company reaffirmed that it has sufficient liquidity to fund its plans, expecting to end the 2003 business year with $2.5 billion in cash, it said.

In the second quarter, Lucent announced several large contracts in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

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