Buoyed by Baby Bells, Lucent Profits Soar NEW YORK (AP)

Lucent Technologies Inc. on Thursday reported stronger-than-expected profits as revenues grew nearly 25 percent on brisk sales of telephone equipment in its first quarter as an independent company.
Lucent stock shot higher on the news, rising more than 4 percent, or $2 per share, to close at $50.37{ in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Lucent, the phone equipment and high-technology company spun off by AT&T; Corp. on Sept. 30, said it earned $255 million, or 40 cents per share, in its final fiscal quarter of 1996. That was up sharply from the profits of $13 million, or 2 cents per share, that Lucent would have earned if it was independent in the year-ago quarter.

The results exceeded the 37-cents per share profit predicted by analysts surveyed by First Call.

Revenues rose 24.7 percent to $5.92 billion from $4.74 billion.

The spinoff of AT&T;’s telephone equipment arm was in part intended to free Lucent to sell more products to AT&T; rivals that had been hesitant to buy from one of their main competitors for phone service.

In a sign that the spinoff may be having its intended result, Lucent said revenues jumped 42.4 percent from selling AT&T; and regional phone companies more phone equipment, such as fiber optic cable, switching and transmission systems and networking software. Demand for the products grew amid increased use of phone lines for access to the computer Internet, electronic mail and fax machines.

“These solid results reflect strengthened relationships with existing customers and expanding opportunities with new ones,” said Lucent Technologies chairman and chief executive Henry B. Schacht.

Revenue from selling electronics parts rose 26.5 percent, helped by sales of microprocessor chips for digital mobile phones and other uses.

Revenues rose 16.1 percent from phone systems including messaging and voice-processing networks.

The spinoff of Lucent, based in Murray Hill, N.J., created the 35th largest U.S. company and completes part of AT&T;’s massive three-way breakup. The telecommunications conglomerate is ejecting its computer manufacturing unit, NCR Corp., late this year, in the final stage of the new restructuring.

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