Swedish wireless giant LM Ericsson AB (ERICY) raised its 2000 sales forecast Friday and said first-quarter profits more than quadrupled on demand for cellular equipment and new phones.
Ericsson's ADRs inched up 9/16 to 90 in midday trading. (Ericsson closed down 1, or 1%, at 88 7/16.)
Ericsson, the No. 3 global manufacturer of mobile phones, reported strong demand for its core network equipment, but said profits were weaker in its mobile-phone unit.
Stockholm-based Ericsson said pretax profit jumped to 6.1 billion Swedish kronor ($681.3 million) from 1.3 billion kronor in 1999. Ericsson said net income rose to 4.25 billion kronor, or 2.15 kronor a share, from 905 million kronor, or 0.49 kronor a share, in the year-earlier period. Consensus estimates among analysts were for 3.018 billion kronor in pretax earnings. The company's operating profit jumped to 6.4 billion kronor from 1.8 billion kronor.
Sales climbed 42% to 59.1 billion kronor from 41.6 billion kronor.
Ericsson said it expects pretax profit to double this quarter from the 2.96 billion kronor reported in the year-earlier second quarter, and for sales to increase more than 25%; the company's previous sales forecast called for 20% growth.
The first-quarter result included a capital gain of 1.05 billion kronor from the sale of part of its stake in Internet service company
Ericsson said it expects the second quarter to include one-time items of the same magnitude.
in the mobile phone category.