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Lucent Posts First-Quarter Loss

Revenue falls 12% from a year ago.
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posted a first-quarter loss Tuesday, two weeks after the company warned of weaker-than-expected sales.

The Murray Hill, N.J., telecom gearmaker lost $104 million, or 2 cents a share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, reversing the year-ago profit of $174 million, or 4 cents a share. Revenue fell 12% from a year ago and 16% sequentially to $2.05 billion.

The latest-quarter loss matched the Thomson First Call estimate, which called for a 4-cent operating profit. Lucent said latest-quarter numbers were hit by a 6-cent charge for a bankruptcy court judgment related to litigation between Lucent and the trustee for Winstar Communications.

Before Lucent's

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Jan. 13 warning, analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were forecasting revenue of $2.44 billion in the quarter.

"This quarter, despite the decline in revenue, we maintained a solid gross margin performance due to our continued focus on simplifying our operations and diligently managing our cost structure," said CEO Patricia Russo. "Based on the review of our expectations for fiscal 2006 and ongoing interactions with our customers, we are confident that our revenue performance will be much stronger for the remainder of the year.

"We have continued to strengthen our position in next-generation networks this quarter by winning three more IMS contracts, and we are conducting an extensive lab trial with Verizon on a wide range of elements from our IMS solution," said Russo. "We continue to pursue those market opportunities that align with our strengths and investments in IMS, 3G mobile networks, services, next-generation optical and access, and applications."

"As we previously stated, we now expect Lucent's annual revenues for fiscal 2006 to be essentially flat or increase on a percentage basis in the low-single digits for the year," said Lucent Technologies Chief Operating and Financial Officer Frank D'Amelio. "As always, we will continue to look for ways to profitably grow the business and expand our customer base, while improving our productivity."

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