Troubled telecommunications equipment maker Lucent Technologies reported on Tuesday that it has met the reduced estimates it offered last month for its fiscal first quarter of 2002, and said it hopes to shake off a terrible sales slump in the upcoming quarter.
Reporting losses on a pro forma basis, which excludes certain charges considered normal business expenses under generally accepted accounting principles, the Murray Hill, New Jersey company said that it lost 23 cents per share, on revenue of $3.46 billion. The revenue number was above the $3.1 to $3.4 billion range Lucent predicted when it revised its estimates on December 13 of last year.
Analysts surveyed for Thomson Financial/First Call were expecting losses of 24 cents per share.
Lucent has seen its pro forma losses drop from 28 cents per share in the previous quarter, and 42 cents per share in the same quarter one year ago.
Revenue for the quarter was $3.5 billion, down from $4.8 billion in the fourth quarter of last year. Revenue last year at this time was $3.8 billion.
"These results directly reflect our continuing restructuring efforts, and they came in the face of market conditions that we believe represent the low point for Lucent sales in the current economic downturn," said Henry Schacht, Lucents chairman, in a conference call with analysts on Tuesday. "Weve made real progress over the past year in our turnaround, but there is more to do to complete the job," he added.
"For the second fiscal quarter, on a sequential basis, we expect our top line to improve approximately 10-15 percent and our bottom line to improve at an even greater rate," said Frank DAmelio, Lucents executive vice president and Chief Financial Officer in a prepared statement.
The First Call analyst consensus is that Lucent will report a pro forma loss of 17 cents per share in its second quarter.
Lucent has been engaged in a considerable restructuring over the last year, including beginning the process of spinning off Agere Systems, Inc., the communications semiconductor making unit, and the reduction of its workforce from about 106,000 at the start of last year to a current level of 62,000.
A Lucent spokesperson also told eWeek that Lucent will attempt to reduce its workforce levels to somewhere around 55,000 this year, which is lower than the previously projected range for the company of between 57,000 and 62,000. The spokesperson declined to say how much if any of that reduction will come from layoffs as opposed to sale of assets.
These and other restructuring moves will account for a new break even point per quarter, DAmelio forecast, of $4.25 billion by the end of this year, from the current $4.75 billion.