Lucent misses earnings by a penny

The telecommunications equipment maker sees its first-quarter profits fall 23 percent as it misses revised earnings estimates by a penny.

Lucent Technologies saw its first-quarter profits fall 23 percent today as the telecommunications equipment maker missed revised earnings estimates by a penny.

Excluding one-time charges, the company reported a profit of $1.2 billion, or 36 cents a share, compared to $1.5 billion, or 48 cents, during the same period last year. A consensus of Wall Street analysts had predicted earnings of 37 cents a share, according to First Call.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, revenue rose slightly to $9.9 billion, compared to $9.8 billion a year ago.

Lucent executives issued a profit warning two weeks ago, saying first-quarter sales would fall below the $11 billion analysts had expected. The company also warned that second-quarter revenue would only grow 12 to 15 percent, below the 18 to 22 percent growth analysts had expected.

Lucent executives blamed the earnings shortfall on the company's inability to meet customer demand for optical networking equipment, lower software sales and year 2000 concerns.

Separately today, Lucent announced it would acquire privately held chipmaker Agere in a stock deal valued at $415 million. The merger gives the networking company a boost in its efforts to produce programmable communications semiconductors.