Recovering from losses in the previous year, Nortel Networks earned $US0.01 per share in the first quarter of 2004 and broke even in the second quarter.
The results were delayed by a long series of restatements of the company's results in the wake of accounting problems. Restatements of results from 2001, 2002 and 2003 were completed only last month. On February 14, the company will disclose when it will give results for the third and fourth quarters of 2004, according to a spokesperson, Tina Warren.
Nortel previously had released "limited estimated unaudited" results for the first, second and third quarters of 2004. The numbers released yesterday roughly met the latest estimates, which were stated in December.
Nortel reported revenue of about $US2.44 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2004, up from $US2.3 billion in the restated results for the first quarter of 2003, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Net earnings for the quarter came in at $US59 million, compared with a loss of $US124 million, or $US0.03 per share, for the restated first-quarter 2003 results.
In the second quarter of 2004, Nortel's revenue amounted to $US2.59 billion, up from $US2.29 billion in the restated second-quarter 2003 results. Net earnings reached $US16 million in the second quarter, a recovery from a loss of $US101 million, or $US0.02 per share, on restated results from a year earlier.
The company expects overall revenue for the full year 2004 to be slightly below 2003's revenue, according to the filing. Customers are holding back on investments in mature network technologies as they focus on making returns on investment, and Nortel's ongoing restatements and an internal restructuring begun in August 2004 also affected sales last year, the company said. Pricing pressure from low-cost suppliers also had an impact, according to the company.
Sales grew in some categories in 2004 and Nortel expects those areas to keep growing this year. They include third-generation mobile data, technologies for voice calls over packet data networks, and expansion and enhancement of existing networks to meet growing demand. In December, Nortel estimated results for the third quarter of 2004 will show revenue of about $US2.3 billion and a loss of $US0.06 per share.