Lucent Drops as Company Mulls Unit Sale

Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LUC) dropped 19U.S. cents to $11.06 in morning trading Wednesday after the telecom companysaid it is considering the sale of its optical-fiber business.

Lucent said it is “pursuing a variety of strategic alternatives” for thebusiness, which sells optical fiber and related technologies totelecommunications companies. Among possible options are a sale or jointventure, Lucent said.

“Over the next few months we will determine which approach will provide themost benefits for our customers, our shareholders and our employees,” Lucent executive vice president Bill O’Shea.

O’Shea said the move will allow Lucent to focus on “critical” areas,while making it easier for the optical fiber business to expand. The division grewmore than 60 percent in fiscal 2000, he said.

Lucent, of Murray Hill, New Jersey, has been struggling to return toprofitability. Last month, the company said it had received a total $6.5billion in credit to help it get back on its feet.

In January, Lucent embarked on a restructuring plan aimed at streamliningoperations, reducing costs by more than $2 billion and boosting workingcapital.

The plan includes a charge of $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion to results forthe second quarter ending this month. The charge will cover job cuts, theelimination of some product lines and other measures.

For the first quarter ended December 31st, the company posted a pro formaloss from continuing operations of $1.02 billion, or 30 cents per share,compared with pro forma income of $1.08 billion, or 33 cents per share.Revenue from continuing operations fell 26 percent to $5.84 million.

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