Lucent ( LU) said its fiscal first-quarter loss will be wider than expected. Before items, the Murray Hill, N.J., telecommunications equipment company expects to lose between 23 cents and 26 cents a share in the quarter, which ends this month. On average, analysts were expecting a loss of 17 cents a share. The company expects revenue of $3.1 billion to $3.4 billion, down from the fourth quarter's $4.8 billion. Lucent said it expects the current quarter to be its low point and predicted it will return to profitability in the current fiscal year.
Earnings Reports & Outlooks
Ciena ( CIEN) posted fourth-quarter earnings that were in line with analysts' expectations. The Linthicum, Md., optical-equipment maker said it earned $17.1 million, or 5 cents a share, before items in the quarter, matching the consensus estimate. Sales rose 27% to $367.8 million. Lattice Semiconductor ( LSCC) reiterated its guidance for the fourth quarter after the market's close Wednesday. Lattice forecast Oct. 22 that fourth-quarter revenue would fall 10% sequentially to $52.2 million. Given the past six weeks' of performance, Lattice believes those estimates are still appropriate. The chipmaker continues to anticipate $4.2 million in earnings before goodwill during the quarter, which would translate to earnings a penny below Wall Street's estimates of 5 cents a share. Macromedia ( MACR) lowered its guidance for the third quarter ending Dec. 31, citing tough economic conditions. Based on preliminary data, the company estimates software revenue for the quarter will come in between $70 million and $75 million. The company also said it doesn't expect to return to profitability by the end of its fiscal year, as previously hoped.
Mergers, Acquisitions & Joint Ventures
HotJobs.com ( HOTJ) received a takeover offer from Yahoo! ( YHOO) valued at $436 million in cash and stock. Yahoo!'s offer would value each share of HotJobs at $10.50. HotJobs agreed in June to be acquired by TMP Worldwide ( TMPW), the owner of rival online job-hunting outfit Monster.com.
Aetna ( AET) plans to cut about 6,000 positions through targeted job reductions and attrition. As a result, the company will record a fourth-quarter charge of around $125 million. The insurance provider said the actions "are necessitated by changes being made as we press forward with our turnaround plan, implement our new strategy, and reduce costs and improve efficiency." Applied Materials ( AMAT) disclosed plans to cut 10% of its workforce. The company is taking the action because of the continuing downturn in the semiconductor industry, and said the job reductions will cover 1,700 workers. Applied Materials will record a restructuring charge, the amount of which wasn't revealed, in the fiscal first quarter, which ends Jan. 27. Boeing ( BA) will slow down production of its 717 aircraft but not kill the line entirely, as some had predicted. The company, which will take a $700 million charge on the move, said it found unexpected support among its customers for the jet and decided to keep building it in case demand revives. The company employs about 4,000 workers at the Long Beach, Calif., plant that builds the plane. Genzyme Corp. ( GENZ) will enter the S&P 500 at the close of trading Thursday. The biotech firm will replace Ralston-Purina ( RAL), which was recently acquired by Nestle.