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Vertel shares piggyback on Lucent agreement

Relatively unknown Vertel (Nasdaq: VRTL) hitched a ride on the back of Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU), rising 66 percent to become the third biggest price gainer on the Nasdaq Wednesday. Shares soared after Vertel announced it had inked three-year, $20 million software development agreement.

Vertel shares were up 1 to 2 7/8 at midday, after almost touching a 52-week high of 3 11/16. Lucent rose 3/4 to 70 13/16.

Vertel, based in Woodland Hills, California, provides telecom network management software to service providers, network operators, telecom equipment manufacturers, independent software vendors and systems integrators.

The agreement with telecommunications networks giant Lucent includes plans to create new network integration software for Lucent's operations support systems (OSS) applications.

"Vertel's experience with CORBA, Q3, SNMP, and proprietary management interfaces will enhance Lucent's management and operations software support for today's diverse networks,'' Deepak Kanwar, director of Lucent Communications Software Group said in a company release.

For the first quarter ending March 31, Vertel's net loss totaled $1.5 million. No analysts cover Vertel. Lucent said it plans to deploy the first software developed by Vertel by the end of 1999.

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