Lucent Tops Estimates by a Penny

A surge in revenue and a drop in operating expenses boosted the data.
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Lucent Technologies

(LU)

, the world's leading telecommunications equipment maker, said on Wednesday that a surge in revenue and a drop in operating expenses helped drive up fiscal second-quarter 2000 earnings, which exceeded analysts' expectations by a penny.

Net income for the quarter rose 41% to $754 million, or 23 cents a share, from $533 million, or 17 cents a share, a year ago.

Wall Street had expected earnings of 22 cents a share, according to

First Call/Thomson Financial

.

"Lucent is regaining its momentum this quarter with strong growth in wireless, Internet infrastructure -- including optical and data networking systems and optical fiber -- professional services and optoelectronics," Richard McGinn, Lucent's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

Lucent, which is recovering from a steep drop in first-quarter profits after failing to manufacture enough supplies to satisfy customer demands, said revenue for the quarter increased 17% to $10.3 billion, compared with $8.8 billion a year ago.

The company's microelectronics and communications technologies unit posted a 38% jump in sales to $1.7 billion. In the enterprise networks division, however, revenue dropped 8% to $1.95 billion. Lucent said it expects to spin off its enterprise communications systems, business cabling and LAN-based networking business into a separate company by the end of September.

Gross margins narrowed to 42.1% compared with 48.2% in the year-ago quarter while selling, general and administrative expenses, excluding one-time events and goodwill, dropped to 19.2% of revenue, compared with 22.3% a year ago.

Contract backlog for ongoing operations rose 25% in the quarter.

Lucent shares closed Wednesday up 3 3/4, or 6%, at 63.