1. Lightheaded at Lucent
The lightweights at
have stumbled again.
The Murray Hill, N.J., telecom-equipment maker warned late Monday of its
latest disappointing quarter
. Citing a slowdown in U.S. wireless-gear sales, Lucent said it expects fiscal third-quarter revenue to fall 13% short of Wall Street estimates. The poor showing sent Lucent down 6% Tuesday, while merger partner
"During the third quarter, our North American mobility business was adversely impacted by a slowdown in spending on some of our current-generation wireless solutions," said CEO Patricia Russo, who is slated to lead the merged company, in a statement.
Adverse impacts are nothing new at Lucent. Russo was claiming last November that the growth-starved company would
post a 5% sales gain
for fiscal 2006. But just two months later, Lucent unveiled a
huge first-quarter shortfall
from the annual growth talk.
Then in April, Lucent changed its mind again, saying it actually
expected sales for the year to fall
. At that point, the company finally ended its longstanding charade of providing annual guidance and then repeatedly changing it. Still, Lucent is off 29% since the merger announcement.
And if Russo has learned anything from the repeated pratfalls, you sure can't tell from her comments Monday.
"From [research and development] to sales, from product development to marketing, from finance to talent development," she gushes in a post-close merger update, "we are committed to being a role-model company for the 21st century."
Yes, CEOs everywhere are just dying to emulate these stooges.
Dumb-o-Meter score: 95. "This merger will create a world-class team that will deliver the best of both companies to customers around the world," Russo adds, as if anyone wants that.