Lucent to Cut Up to 20,000 More Jobs

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Embattled telecommunications equipment maker Lucent Technologies announced it was planning to cut an additional 15,000 to 20,000 jobs from its payroll and eliminate its dividend in a bid to return to profitability.

Lucent already has cut its work force by 19,000 jobs since January, and has eliminated 5,500 contractor positions. The additional cuts will mean Lucent has trimmed its work force, which numbered 123,000 at the beginning of the year, by 32 percent.

Lucent also said it was eliminating its dividend beginning Sept. 1 in a move the company said would free up $68 million per quarter.

The announcement Tuesday came as the ailing company posted a fiscal third-quarter loss of $3.25 billion, far wider than expectations.

Lucent will take a $7 billion to $9 billion charge in its fiscal fourth quarter to pay for the restructuring, as well as additional asset write-downs as the company streamlines its product offerings.

Chief executive and chairman Henry Schacht called the cuts "a new phase of our restructuring to reshape Lucent for future growth and profitability even more quickly."

For the three months ended June 30, Lucent lost 95 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $301 million, or 9 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter, the Murray Hill, N.J.-based company said Tuesday.

Excluding discontinued operations, Lucent lost $1.89 billion, or 55 cents per share. Excluding other one-time items, including a $684 million restructuring charge, Lucent lost 37 cents per share, compared with 35 cents per share in the year-ago period.

The loss far exceeded forecasts from analysts, who were expecting a loss of 21 cents per share.

Revenue from continuing operations declined 21 percent to $5.82 billion compared with $7.41 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Separately, Lucent said it is selling its manufacturing assets at Oklahoma City and Columbus, Ohio, to Celestica Inc. for up to $650 million and signed a five-year supply agreement under which Celestica will make switching and other products for Lucent.

-- Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.