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Alcatel Lucent Warns

It sees a first-quarter loss.
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Alcatel Lucent (ALU) warned that it expects a first-quarter operating loss on weaker-than-expected sales.

Tuesday's warning, which sent the stock down more than 2% in Paris, marks the second time in as many quarters as a merged company that Lucent has posted softer-than-expected results. The company attributed the shortfall to lower sales volumes in traditional wireless and core networks gear.

Alcatel Lucent said it expects to lose 260 million euros ($354 million) for the quarter on an operating basis, half of which is attributed to one-time items tied to merger integration and other costs. The company said sales will decline 8% from a year ago on a constant-dollar basis to $5.31 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a modest profit on sales of $5.48 billion.

The company said it has cut 1,900 jobs on its way to 12,500 cuts in three years, but it claims that it sees "strong momentum in order flow." Alcatel Lucent said its book-to-bill ratio, measuring the proportion of orders to shipments, was 1.3 in the latest quarter.