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) --



plunged back into red ink as both its old-line and wireless equipment sales dipped in the third quarter.


swinging to a surprise profit

in the second quarter, Alcatel-Lucent fell back into its familiar money-losing pattern, posting an adjusted net loss of 9 cents a share, down from the 3-cent profit in the year-ago period and worse than the nickel loss analysts were expecting, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Sales for the third quarter ended last month were $5.46 billion, down 9% from the $6 billion level last year and 5% below the second quarter revenue tally. The weak top line was below $5.62 billion analysts had targeted.

"Our company continues its transformation journey," CEO Ben Verwaayen said in a press release Friday.

Looking ahead, Alcatel-Lucent offered no change to its bleak outlook. The telco gearmaker says it still expects the industry to decline by 10% this year and reiterated that its adjusted operating income would be in the breakeven range for the year.

Analysts are less encouraged -- the consensus adjusted earnings estimate for the year is a loss of 8 cents.

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Alcatel-Lucent shares were down 6% to $3.90 in premarket trading Friday.