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Alcatel-Lucent Shift Plan On Track as Earnings Become Earnings Again

Jon C. Ogg

Alcatel-Lucent S.A. (SA) was already up for the week, but now the ADRs will be up even more after a surge in from the company's earnings report. In fact, shares were surging in overseas trading in Paris.

One driver of Alcatel-Lucent's strength is that the company is in talks to sell its enterprise phone unit to China Huaxin, reportedly for some 268 million euro (about $362.5 million). If sold, the company reportedly plans to retain a 15% interest of the unit.

Revenue for the quarter was down by about 4% to 3.93 billion euro ($5.31 billion) from 4.1 billion euro, but the company managed a profit of 134 million euro after losing 1.56 billion euro a year ago.

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If you use an adjusted operating income, our non-GAAP reporting, this came to a profit of 307 million euro, versus 115 million euro a year earlier. This was the first real quarterly operating profit in more than a year. The company's free cash flow was 363 million euro, versus 355 million a year earlier.

In local trading in Paris, Alcatel-Lucent shares were up about 11% to 3.36 euro in heavy trading of more than 55 million shares -- almost twice the normal volume with another five hours of trading remaining. In New York ADRs, Alcatel-Lucent shares are indicated up 10% at $4.55. Keep in mind that this stock is again close to a 52-week high.

If these numbers can continue -- again IF -- then CEO Michel Combes' Shift Plan seems to be working. Alcatel-Lucent still has a long road ahead, full of continued layoffs, divestment of operations and heavy competition. To show that it is still in a turnaround, Cisco trades at about 2.5 times revenue, versus a multiple of about only about 0.5 times revenues for Alcatel-Lucent.

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