Alcatel-Lucent posts $5B loss on write-downs

Alcatel-Lucent posted a $5.07 billion net loss in the fourth quarter because of heavy write-downs, but its performance beat expectations, even as its balance sheet was showing red.

The telecom equipment maker's loss widened from the $3.31 billion loss it posted in the year-ago quarter, and stemmed from a write-down of the value of its assets. The company, which announced plans in December to cut costs by $978 million in 2009, also said that it would maintain its market share, despite weak macroeconomic conditions.

"We have taken a substantial impairment charge which reflects the deterioration in the market conditions and a reflection of our change in strategy," CEO Ben Verwaayen said during a conference call.

The company's operating profit fell 2 percent to $382 million, down from $389.7 million in the year-ago period, but above analysts' expectations of $315.8 million. The company said that it expected to maintain its market share, despite the overall market declining 8 to 12 percent.

In December, Alcatel-Lucent said it would slice 1,000 management positions and 5,000 contracting jobs on top of the 16,500 jobs the company had already said it would cut by the end of 2009.

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