Nortel expands on guidance for 2000, 2001

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Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE: NT) Wednesday confirmed its overall guidance for 2000 and 2001 and provided specific revenue and earnings estimates for the fourth quarter of 2000 and the first period for 2001.

Shares of Nortel were down 0.19 to 45.69.

The optical networking giant expects revenues to grow in excess of 125 percent year over year in 2000 to more than $10 billion, according to CEO John Roth. For 2001, the company said it expects the overall market to expand in excess of 20 percent. Nortel reconfirmed that it believes it will outpace competitors next year with growth in revenues and earnings per share in the 30 to 35 percent range.

The company also provided specific guidance for the last quarter of 2000 and the first quarter of 2001.

Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2000 is expected be in the $8.5 billion to $8.8 billion range, with earnings coming in at 26 cents a share on a fully diluted basis. The projected number would match the earnings estimate of First Call.

For the first quarter of 2001, Nortel sees revenues of $8.1 billion to $8.3 billion with earnings per share of 16 cents on a fully diluted basis. This number would miss analyst EPS forecasts by a penny.

"We continue to expect to grow significantly faster than the market," said Roth in a statement. He added that he expects continued strong growth in Optical Internet, Wireless Internet, Local Internet and eBusiness solutions.

Nortel shares have been hammered of late, shedding 40 percent in the past month on concerns that its optical sales are slowing.

Reuters contributed to this story.