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Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) Falls Unexpectedly

|Includes: Nokia Corporation (NOK)
Alcatel-Lucent (ALU), France’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, fell the most in four months in Paris trading after reporting an operating margin below some analysts’ expectations.

Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) shares fell 4.9% in early trading in Paris, bucking the decidedly higher trend in the broader French market. Shares declined after the Paris- based company reported an adjusted gross margin of 33.8 percent in the third quarter, compared with 33.4 percent a year ago, even as it posted a surprise 25 million euro ($35 million) profit aided by a one-time pension gain and higher sales.

The gross margin, an important gauge of profitability, improved to 33.8% from 33.4% a year earlier, but declined from 36.1% in the second quarter.

In the latest quarter, Alcatel’s (ALU) revenue climbed 11 percent to about 4.07 billion euros, led by a 10 percent gain in the Networks business segment.

Component shortages continued to dog operations in the quarter, though they have had a smaller impact on Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) than on rivals like Ericsson. The shortages are a result of massive cutbacks at manufacturers of electronic components during the recession. In the recovery, they have struggled to meet demand.

Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) has struggled to find its footing and rationalize its operations ever since it was created by the complex merger of France’s Alcatel and Lucent of the U.S. back in 2006.

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