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Agere Reports First Quarterly Profit

The Lucent spin-off earned $11 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, but warned of a loss in the upcoming quarter.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) -- Agere Systems Inc. reported the first quarterly profit in its history Tuesday on the strength of sales of chips for cell phones, hard-disk drives, and other computer applications.

But the integrated circuit, chip, and software maker warned of a loss in the upcoming quarter.

Agere, an Allentown, Pa.-based spinoff of Lucent Technologies, earned $11 million, or 1 cent per share, for the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a loss of $885 million, or 54 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

The company said it trimmed its annual net loss by 81 percent to $338 million, or 20 cents per share. Agere lost $1.81 billion, or $1.11 a share, in fiscal 2002.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had expected a 1 cent-a-share loss for the fourth quarter and predicted that Agere would lose 18 cents a share for the 2003 fiscal year.

"We are very pleased to report the strongest quarter in our history as a public company," said John Dickson, Agere president and chief executive. "We met or exceeded every financial target we set, including achieving profitability and positive cash flow."

The company, however, said it expected a loss of 1 cent to 4 cents per share, including restructuring costs, in the quarter ending in December. Excluding one-time charges, the company said it expected to break even.

Agere posted fourth-quarter revenues of $504 million, up 3 percent from the year-ago quarter. For fiscal 2003, Agere had revenues of $1.84 billion, down from 2002 revenues of $1.92 billion.

The company also said Tuesday that its board has decided not to pursue a reverse stock split.

Agere, Lucent's former microelectronics division, was spun off in 2002.

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