Nortel Fourth-Quarter Earnings Fell

The company sees modest revenue growth in 2005.
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Telecom-gear maker



, continuing the long process of getting its financial results current, said Monday that earnings in its fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2004, were $133 million, or 3 cents a share.

The results, whose release was delayed by the company's mammoth accounting overhaul, compared with earnings of $528 million, or 12 cents a share, a year earlier.

Fourth-quarter revenue was $2.6 billion, compared with $3.27 billion a year ago.

The 2004 fourth quarter had $37 million of earnings from discontinued operations, $81 million of restructuring charges, and a $134 million gain primarily related to customer financing recovery and settlements.

For all of 2004, Nortel lost $51 million, or a penny a share, on sales of $9.8 billion.

Nortel also updated its guidance for the current year, saying it expects full-year revenue to rise from 2004, with gross margin coming in at 40% to 44% of revenue. First-quarter revenue should rise modestly from a year ago, with gross margin coming in similar to the full-year percentage. Nortel expects to end the first quarter with a cash balance of $3.5 billion.

The stock was up 3 cents to $2.52 in premarket trading, boosted by the revenue outlook.