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Lucent details layoff plans

The telecommunications-equipment maker plans to reduce its work force by half by March of next year.

Telecommunications-equipment maker Lucent Technologies specified plans Thursday to reduce the company's work force by half.

In a presentation to Wall Street analysts, the company clarified its previously announced layoff plans and said it will remove 17,000 more workers on top of the 10,500 workers already laid off and the 8,500 who chose to take early retirement.

Of the 17,000 on the chopping block, the company will cut 5,000 outsourced jobs and the remaining cuts will come from inside the company, which will bring the company's total number of employees to between 57,000 and 62,000 by March of next year. Lucent finished the year 2000 with 123,000 employees.

Included in the total cuts are the 17,000 employees from its spun-off Agere unit and 6,000 employees of its optical fiber unit, which was sold to Furukawa Electric and Corning for $2.75 billion. Lucent partially spun off Agere in an IPO last March and plans to spin off all of its 80 percent stake in the optical components maker by March 2002.

Lucent expects to reach profitability in fiscal 2002, which ends in September 2002, but also expects the equipment market to decline between 5 percent and 10 percent for the fiscal year, and it forecasts no growth for its own addressable market.

Excluding discontinued operations and one-time charges, the company reported revenue of $5.82 billion in the third fiscal quarter of 2001, which ended in June, down from $5.91 billion in the second fiscal quarter. It posted a loss on that basis of 35 cents per share. According to First Call, the average loss predicted by Wall Street was 21 cents per share, with a range of 9 cents to 27 cents.

Analysts surveyed by First Call expect the company to post a loss of 21 cents a share for its fourth fiscal quarter.