Updated from 7:24 a.m. EDTTelecom investors are seeing a bit of progress at Lucent ( LU). On Tuesday, the New Jersey maker of phone-network equipment posted second-quarter earnings that were in line with Wall Street estimates, marking its third straight profit after a long string of losses. The company also gingerly forecast a full-year profit. For its second quarter ended March 31, Lucent reported net income of $68 million, or 2 cents a diluted share. These results compare with net income of $338 million, or 7 cents a share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2004, and a loss of $351 million, or 14 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Wall Street had forecast a 2-cent profit on sales of $2.16 billion. Investors had
For the third quarter ending in June, analysts expect Lucent to swing to a 2-cent-a-share profit from the year-ago 7-cent loss. And reversing the recent trend, Wall Street actually expects a year-on-year sales gain, in the neighborhood of 10% to around $2.2 billion. But as has long been the case with Lucent, it's not just the numbers that tell the story. Recently investors have grown
increasingly concerned about other issues at the company, such as a probe of business practices at its Saudi operations and the firing of four high-ranking workers in China. Meanwhile, after a hot start to 2004, Lucent shares have cooled as the much-discussed spike in telecom-industry spending has failed to materialize.