Lucent Technologies Inc.

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Lucent Technologies Inc. CHICAGO, April 24 (Reuters) - Struggling telecommunications equipment giant Lucent Technologies Inc. on Tuesday reported a $3.7 billion second-quarter loss, yet its stock surged as much as 22 percent on optimism its long-awaited turnaround could be near at hand. The company, based in Murray Hill, N.J., said the pro forma loss for the quarter, excluding restructuring charges and other one-time costs, was 37 cents a share, compared to a gain of 16 cents in the year-ago period. However, results improved 5 percent from a pro forma first-quarter loss of 39 cents. The company said in January its financial results would improve each quarter through the year. Lucent's stock surged as much as 22 percent, and was still up 13.37 percent, or $1.23, at $10.43 in Tuesday afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Over the past year, it has underperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 Index by about 80 percent. ``We said we'd talk less and do more,'' Lucent Chairman and Chief Executive Henry Schacht told Reuters in a telephone interview after the results were announced. ``We have said consistently this is a transition year, and we expect to see quarter to quarter improvement,'' he added. Lucent's third-quarter earnings will improve significantly, while sales will see a modest increase. Stronger-than-expected revenue and a stabilized balance sheet led Salomon Smith Barney analyst Alex Henderson to upgrade his rating on the stock to outperform from neutral. He said the company looks on track to break even within the year. All results excluded Lucent's former Agere optical components unit, which was partly spun off recently and reported its second-quarter results separately on Tuesday. Lucent also said losses for its Winstar Communications loans and other write-offs totaled 15 cents per share. Analysts on average had expected a second-quarter loss of 23 cents a share with a range of a loss of 12 cents to a loss of 47 cents, but that estimate included results at Agere, according to Thomson Financial/First Call. Lucent expects to complete the Agere spinoff by the end of September. LUCENT NOT ALONE The beleaguered company is not alone as demand in the telecom equipment sector has slowed, analysts said. Nortel Networks, the largest telecom gear maker, last week reported first-quarter losses in line with an earlier warning, but said earnings could improve next quarter as it cuts 5,000 more jobs and trims costs. Including the charges and other costs, Lucent reported a second-quarter net loss of $3.7 billion, or $1.

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