Alcatel-Lucent Scraps Dividend, Sees Q1 Loss

Alcatel-Lucent Scraps Dividend, Sees Q1 Loss

Alcatel - Lucent scrapped its dividend, citing an uncertain market outlook, after recording a loss in its first year as a merged entity, the French-American telecoms equipment provider said on Friday.

Alcatel, which acquired Lucent in 2006, said it had taken a 2.94 billion euro impairment charge on the value of Lucent's assets and called 2007 a difficult year.

Alcatel-Lucent made an annual loss of 443 million euros, ($647.8 million,) beating a 789 million euro average forecast of analysts sampled by Reuters Estimates.

It said it expected to incur an adjusted operating loss in the first quarter of 2008 due to "seasonal patterns". "The macroeconomic environment has created uncertainty in our markets in the last few months," Alcatel-Lucent Chief Executive Patricia Russo said in a statement.

In light of the outlook and results, the group said it was prudent to scrap the dividend payment for 2007.

Alcatel-Lucent said it expected an adjusted operating margin of between 2.5 percent and 5 percent for 2008.

Alcatel-Lucent Finance Director Hubert de Pesquidoux said the bulk of the impairment charge for 2007 was related to the mobile CDMA (3G) assets it bought from Lucent and losses in the year were mostly incurred by the group's mobile activities.

"This has been a difficult year," Pesquidoux said in a conference call.

Alcatel-Lucent generated sales of 17.8 billion euros in the 12 months to Dec. 31, slightly above a forecast of 17.5 billion euros from analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.