Lucent Profits Miss Lowered Analyst Estimates

Lucent Technologies Inc. today reported that income for the first quarter of the 2000 fiscal year was at the low end of the company's forecast, thus missing analyst expectations by 1 cent. Disruptions in customer buying patterns and a lack of manufacturing capacity for in-demand products were blamed for the disappointing earnings results.

Excluding one-time charges and other events, net income for Lucent's first quarter of fiscal 2000, which ended Dec. 31, 1999, was US$1.18 billion, or 36 cents per share, compared to $1.52 billion, or 48 cents per share, for the same period one year earlier.

Lucent had warned earlier this month that its earnings would be in the 36 cents to 39 cents range, causing analysts to revise their expectations downward.

Nevertheless, the 36 cents per share reported today was at the lower end of the company's estimate, and missed even the revised analyst forecasts. The mean forecast by 27 analysts participating in a First Call Corp. survey was 37 cents. Before Lucent's earnings warning on Jan. 6, the mean analyst forecast from First Call had been 54 cents. [See, "Lucent Warns of Sharp Earnings Shortfall In Q1," Jan. 6.]Including one-time events, income for the quarter was $1.25 billion or 38 cents a share. The one-time events included pretax gains related to the sale of equity investments and merger expenses associated with International Network Services and Excel Switching Corp.

Revenue for the quarter was $9.9 billion, compared to 9.84 billion for the year-earlier period, Lucent said in a press release. Revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2000 as well as the year earlier period were both stated to include International Network and Excel mergers.

The company is disappointed in the earnings results, but expects issues concerning manufacturing deployment and customer demand to be resolved by the end of the second quarter, Lucent Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard McGinn said in a statement.

Lucent had previously said that some delays in customer orders were related to preparations for the year 2000, as businesses worked to ensure that computer systems were able to handle dates in 2000. Other delays involved difficulties in customer financing for new network equipment deployment, Lucent said. Still another problem was unexpectedly high demand for some optical products, which Lucent said it hopes to meet this quarter.

High points for Lucent in the first fiscal 2000 quarter included triple-digit growth in revenue for its Dense Wave Division Multiplexing optical networking products, the company said. In addition, products with high double-digit revenue growth included call-center applications, service provider data networking, NetCare professional services, and optoelectronic components, Lucent said.

Lucent Technologies, in Murray Hill, New Jersey, can be reached at +1-908-582-8500 or at http://www.lucent.com.

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