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Lucent Narrows Loss In Third Quarter

The maker of telecom equipment says 3Q losses were down sharply from a year ago despite a big drop in revenue.
MURRAY HILL, N.J. (AP) -- Telecommunications gear maker Lucent Technologies on Wednesday reported a narrower loss on sharply lower revenue in the third quarter.

Lucent had a net loss of $254 million, or 7 cents a share, in the April-June period, compared to a loss of $8.03 billion, or $2.35 a share, in the same 2002 quarter.

Revenues were $1.97 billion in the quarter, a third less than the $2.95 billion recorded for the three-month period a year ago.

The Murray Hill-based company last week announced that it expected such figures, citing continuing uncertainty in the telecommunications equipment market. That prompted Wall Street to amend its forecast of a 5 cent loss per share to 6 cents, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

On Wednesday, Lucent repeated its announcement of last week that it expected to return to profitability in fiscal 2004, instead of in the fall, as executives had said for over a year.

Gross margin--profit after materials and production costs, but excluding sales, administration, research and other expenses--improved to 29.2 percent from 22.1 percent recorded a year ago. The third quarter figure was down slightly from the 31.7 percent in the second quarter.

Operating expenses, which include sales and other overhead, were slashed 71 percent from the year-ago quarter, to $842 million.

For the first nine months of the year, Lucent lost $869 million, or 32 cents a share, versus a loss of $8.94 billion, or $2.65 a share, a year ago. Revenue fell to $6.44 billion from $10.04 billion a year ago.