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Alcatel-Lucent Loss Wider Than Expected

Shares fall in early trading.

Alcatel-Lucent

(ALU)

slid in early trading after the company notched a fifth-straight quarterly shortfall and again offered a disappointing view of the future.

The Paris-based telecom-equipment maker posted a first-quarter loss of 181 million euros, or $282 million, widening from a loss of 8 million euros in the year-ago quarter. In U.S. dollar terms, the company lost 7 cents a share, compared to a profit of 12 cents a share in the year-ago quarter. Wall Street was expecting a loss of 2 cents.

For the first quarter, at a constant euro-dollar exchange rate, revenue was up 6.3% from a year ago to 3.86 billion euros, but was down 0.5% sequentially. Analysts expected 4.04 billion euros in sales for the first quarter, according to Thomson Financial.

"While the long-term prospects for the industry are positive, the current macroeconomic environment remains uncertain, leading the company to continue to be prudent in its market assumptions," Alcatel said in its earnings release.

Looking ahead, Alcatel said it expects its full-year revenue to be down in the low to mid-single digit range, citing the significant deterioration in the euro-dollar exchange rate and, to a lesser extent, the potential for lower capital spending by a few customers. The company had previously said it thought revenue would rise in 2008.

For the second quarter, Alcatel believes revenue will increase in the mid single-digit range sequentially.

Shares of Alcatel were dropping 40 cents, or 5.7%, to $6.66. Among other networking-equipment makers,

Ericsson

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was up 0.8%, and

Cisco

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was tacking on 0.2%, while

Juniper Networks

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dipped 0.3%.

Nortel

(NT)

, which is scheduled to report quarterly results Friday, was off nearly 1%.