Nortel Says Q4 Is On Track

Nortel Networks Corp. on Monday said it is on track to make its previously stated growth projections. Nortel said in a statement it is "very confident" that earnings per share in the fourth quarter of 2000 will be 26 US cents and sales will be between US$8.5 billion to $8.8 billion.

Total revenue growth in 2000 over 1999 will be in the low 40 percent range, Nortel President and Chief Executive Officer John Roth said in the statement, released Monday evening prior to its annual investors conference Tuesday. The company expects its optical Internet revenue to grow by more than 125 percent in 2000, over last year. Sales in this area should be over $10 billion, according to the company.

The company also said it expects its overall market to grow "in excess" of 20 percent next year. Nortel said it would grow at a faster rate, with anticipated growth in revenue and earnings per share in the 30 to 35 percent range.

For the first quarter of 2001 Nortel foresees earnings per share of 16 cents and revenue in the range of $8.1 billion to $8.3 billion.

Nortel's projections are in contrast with the results of a survey by the Dell'Oro Group. In a study published last week the research firm says revenue in the optical networking market declined 7 percent in the third quarter.

Nortel Networks makes optical networking hardware used mainly for connections between cities. The company is extending its reach into wireless connections and optical connections within cities. The company's main markets are North America and Europe, and Asia is growing in importance.

Mid-morning trading in Nortel Tuesday pushed the value of company shares up by US$1.81 to $37.06.

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