Alcatel-Lucent shareholders fire up annual meeting

Alcatel-Lucent (NASDAQ:ALU) faced a raucous annual shareholder meeting Friday, with investors questioning the company's turnaround strategy, its cash position and the direction of CEO Ben Verwaayen. The infrastructure vendor reported its first annual profit last year since the merger of French Alcatel and U.S.-based Lucent six years ago. However, the company's shares in the telecom-gear giant have lost two-thirds of their value in the past year, and its operating loss for the first quarter of 2012 grew to €289 million ($363.4 million), while revenue plummeted 12 percent to €3.21 billion. Verwaayen recently highlighted four key company achievements over the past 12 months, with the launch of the network infrastructure product lightRadio, the development of CloudBand, work to enable smart grid and real-time applications and the company's OpenTouch suite of communications platforms. However, pressure is mounting on the firm, which could face a possible default on $765 million of convertible debt due in around 12 months' time, said analyst Pierre Ferragu at Bernstein Research. Read more about Alcatel-Lucent's financial standing and prospects.