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Lucent Warns of a Fourth-Quarter Shortfall

The warning marks the telecom-equipment giant's third this year, and its second in three months.

Telecom-equipment giant



Tuesday warned fourth-quarter earnings will fall short of Wall Street estimates, citing weakening optical-equipment margins, slowing circuit-switching sales and a rising bad debt reserve.

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Lucent, whose shares have plunged by nearly two-thirds this year following a series of earnings warnings, said it expected to report earnings of 17 to 18 cents a share for the quarter ended Sept. 30, down from 24 cents a year earlier and far short of Wall Street's 27-cent estimate. Lucent had reduced fourth-quarter earnings and revenue-growth expectations July 20, when it reported third-quarter earnings.

Lucent closed Tuesday at $31.31, off $1. The stock traded in the mid-80s in January before it hit Wall Street with its first-ever earnings warning. That announcement knocked a third off the stock's value in a single day.