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Lucent 3rd-Quarter Profit Doubles, Beats Forecasts

From Bloomberg News

Lucent Technologies Inc., the top seller of phone equipment in North America, on Wednesday said fiscal third-quarter profit more than doubled, beating expectations, on strong sales of products that let phone networks carry more information.

Profit before charges for the quarter ended June 30 was $435 million, or 32 cents a diluted share, compared with net income of $213 million, or 17 cents, a year ago. Although that beat the average estimate of 27 cents from analysts, Lucent shares fell $1.50 to close at $100.63 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange, after rising 19% in the last 10 days.

Lucent has beaten profit estimates every quarter since its spinoff from AT&T; Corp. in 1996, primarily by boosting sales at a fast clip and keeping a lid on costs.

Lucent’s third-quarter results were led by a 17% jump in sales of switches and wireless and data equipment to phone companies and a 28% increase in sales to corporations. Total revenue rose to $7.23 billion, an increase of 14% from $6.34 billion a year earlier.

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At a Glance:

* AirTouch Communications Inc. said second-quarter profit more than doubled as the world’s largest wireless phone company added a record number of customers in its international operations. Net income was $147 million, or 25 cents a diluted share, compared with year-earlier pro forma profit of $71 million, or 13 cents. AirTouch was expected to earn 23 cents, according to analysts. Revenue soared 50%, to $1.35 billion from $901 million.

* San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc., which makes wireless phones and network equipment, said fiscal third-quarter earnings fell 3%, though it beat expectations, amid stronger demand for its phones, equipment and computer chips.

Profit before charges fell to $25 million, or 33 cents a diluted share, from $25.8 million, or 36 cents, a year earlier. That beat the average estimate of 26 cents. Sales in the quarter soared 68% to $875 million from $520 million a year earlier.

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