Nortel Beats Expectations but Charges Pressure Stock

The company said earnings are on track for the year.
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Nortel

(NT)

beat Wall Street's earnings expectations today.

The telecommunications company said third-quarter profits jumped 33% from a year ago. For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, Nortel reported net income from operations of $380 million, or 28 cents a share, on revenue of $5.39 billion. For the year-ago quarter, earnings were $236 million, or 21 cents a share, on revenue of $4.14 billion. Analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

expected the Brampton, Ontario-based company to earn 26 cents a share.

The Canadian company reported earnings in American dollars but did not provide diluted earnings per share.

The company reported a one-time gain of $110 million from divesting itself of some operations and one-time charges of $103 million for writedowns in the enterprise segment. It also reported acquisition-related costs of $384 million, mostly for

Bay Networks

-related intangible assets.

All told, the company earned $1 million, or 1 cent a share, after one-time charges.

Nortel serves carrier, enterprise and service providers with data, cable and wireless Internet connections. The world's fourth-largest maker of telecommunications products, the company's stock has soared from 16 7/8 a year ago. However, in after-hours trading, the company fell 1 3/16, or 1.02%, to 55 1/2.

John Roth, president and CEO, said earnings are on track for the year.

"The big drivers for Nortel right now are its optical and broadband business," said David Powers, analyst for

Edward Jones

, which hasn't done underwriting for Nortel. "Their wireless business is starting to gain, which was their Achilles' heel last year."

Powers, who rates the stock a buy, said enterprise revenues were essentially flat without gains from acquisitions.

Roth conceded as much in a conference call. "This is a business we want to put more emphasis on," Roth said.