Lucent Technologies has reported its first net profit for more than three years, beating analyst expectations for its fourth-quarter financial performance.
The telecoms equipment maker reported net income of $99m for the quarter ending 30 September, compared with a net loss of $2.81bn for the same period last year.
The company remains somewhat cautious on its outlook, however, and declined to forecast when it will return to steady profits.
"We still have some work to do, and in the current challenging market environment it's likely we will still have some ups and downs on the way to sustained profitability," said Lucent chairman and chief executive Patricia Russo, although she added that the company is seeing some signs of stability in the telecom market.
Revenue for the quarter was $2.03bn, compared with $2.28bn last year.
For its 2003 financial year, Lucent reported revenue of $8.5bn, compared with $12.3bn for 2002. The year ended with a net loss of $770m, compared with a net loss of $11.8bn for 2002.
Lucent reported that initiatives to expand into areas including services and government contracts, especially in regions outside the US, are contributing to improved results.
Marc Ferranti and Laura Rohde write for IDG News Service