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The telecommunications technology company reported a loss of $264m for the quarter, which ended 31 December, compared with $423m in the same quarter last year.
However, revenue for the quarter was $2.08bn, down 41% from $3.58bn a year earlier and down 9% from the $2.28bn Lucent reported for the final quarter of 2002.
The sequential decline in revenue nearly matched the company's own most pessimistic estimates. Lucent had predicted revenues to be flat in the first quarter of 2003 or down 10 percent at most. The actual decline was 9 percent.
The company's first-quarter loss was an improvement on the previous quarter, in which it lost $2.81bn, partly because of restructuring charges and customer financing defaults.
Despite the continued losses, Lucent said it was on the road back to profitability with improved gross margins and reduced expenses. It expected revenue to increase in the second quarter and hoped to benefit from its latest restructuring and increased sales volumes.
Lucent believed it should be at the break-even point by the end of its fiscal year, assuming $2.5bn in quarterly revenue, but hopes to break even before then.