Alcatel-Lucent Posts Eighth Consecutive Quarterly Loss


In statements, Alcatel-Lucent top brass expressed encouragement, however, saying that despite the massive fourth-quarter write-down, the company had met its revenue guidance and hit its targets for operating profitability and cash flow.

Alcatel-Lucent said its 3.91 billion euro ($5.1 billion) fourth-quarter write-down was due in part to a "drastic deterioration of the global economic outlook." The write-down is the largest in company history, but excluding it, Alcatel-Lucent posted an operating profit of 297 million euro (approximately $380.7 million).

"The asset impairment charge that severely impacted our bottom line was made necessary by the drastic deterioration of the global economic outlook during the fourth quarter as well our decision to shift to a more focused portfolio," said Alcatel-Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen in a statement. "With an improving balance sheet, adequate funding, a new strategy in place and a clear road map to profitability, we are committed to executing on our plans to deliver better solutions and services to our customers and better returns to our shareholders."

Verwaayen, the former CEO of BT and a previous vice chairman of the management board of Lucent Technologies in the U.S., was named Alcatel-Lucent's new CEO on Sept. 2, and Philippe Camus became its chairman a month later. Verwaayen and Camus replaced Patricia Russo and Serge Tchruk, who had overseen the 2006 merger of the former Alcatel and Lucent Technologies Inc.

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Verwaayen suggested in a January interview with a French newspaper that Alcatel-Lucent would not be planning any acquisitions in the near term.

The company's 2008 management changes also included one in channel leadership—Alcatel-Lucent's former North American channel chief Carmen Sorice left the company for SunGard in August.