& cplSiteName &

Alcatel-Lucent CEO Preps Kill List

Ray Le Maistre
4/26/2013
50%
50%

It looks like make or break for Alcatel-Lucent in 2013. The company has started the year with a first-quarter net loss of €353 million (US$460 million) and a strategic review of its businesses and operating model, the results of which are set to be unveiled by new CEO Michel Combes in "early summer."

The vendor has already offloaded one small asset this week and a fresh review of the company's multiple operating units was inevitable. (See Euroblog: Combes Clearout? and AlcaLu Sells Off Its API Repository.)

Now the company's staff, customers, partners and rivals will be scouring the first-quarter results, looking for clues as to which of the vendor's operations might get harpooned with a "For Sale" or "Closure" sign.

The vendor has already put some units on the block, having created a "Focused Businesses" business group for the Enterprise, Submarine and the Strategic Industries units that collectively performed badly during the first quarter, with revenues down 22 percent year-on-year to €244 million ($318 million). (See Alcatel-Lucent Sharpens Its Focus.)

But it's the Networks & Platforms business group that will likely get the most attention from Combes, as it forms the rump of the company. In the first quarter it generated revenues of €2.7 billion ($3.52 billion), 84 percent of the company's total revenues of €3.23 billion ($4.2 billion). (In both cases, those figures were slightly better than a year ago.)

On the evidence of the first quarter, the optical equipment division within that group might have something to worry about: Its revenues fell by 15.6 percent compared with a year ago to €342 million ($446 million), while the rest of the Networks & Platforms divisions (including IP, wireless and fixed networks) all reported sales growth compared with a year ago.

To put the optical division's performance into even clearer perspective, one of its main rivals just reported a better than expected first quarter and a bullish outlook for the full year. (See Infinera Prepares for a Big 2013.) So what's the deal with the optical equipment business? Alcatel-Lucent says it's being dragged down by its legacy product lines. Here's the official explanation:

    Revenues for the Optics division were Euro 342 million, a decrease of 15.6% from the year-ago quarter. We continued to witness declines in our legacy equipment, which now represents 30% of our optics product revenues, partially offset by growth in WDM in both our Europe and APAC regions. Our 1830 Photonic Service Switch continues to grow as a percentage of optical revenues, reaching 36% in the first quarter, as sales grew at a high double-digit rate compared to the year-ago quarter. The relative share of 100G shipments has also continued to increase, from 12% in 2012 to 19% in the first quarter of 2013. Traction with our 400G Photonic Service Engine has also been confirmed, with the recent completion of successful 400G trials with Shaw Communications in Canada, France Telecom/Orange and Telefónica España.

The bottom line for Combes is that he needs to show the board, investors, customers and partners that he can revive Alcatel-Lucent's fortunes and instill confidence that the company has a long-term, profitable future.

To do that, the financials need to improve significantly. While first-quarter total revenues were up 0.6 percent to €3.23 billion, the gross margin slipped to 29.4 percent from 30.2 percent a year ago. While the operating loss, at €202 million ($263 million), was an improvement compared with 2012's first quarter, the net loss of €353 million was in stark contrast to last year's net profit.

In addition, the vendor ended the first quarter with a net debt of €358 million ($466 million), having burned €505 million ($657 million) of cash during the first three months of this year. That cash-burn figure includes restructuring, capital expenditure, tax and interest costs in addition to the quarter's operating losses.

Combes will know the company can't continue in this vein. In the meantime, he'll be aware that AlcaLu's share price has dipped 2.4 percent Friday morning on the Paris exchange to €1.06, giving the company a market value of less than €2.5 billion ($3.25 billion).

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
DanJonesLRMobile
50%
50%
DanJonesLRMobile,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/26/2013 | 6:31:43 PM
re: Alcatel-Lucent CEO Preps Kill List
I presume the LightRadio line is safe for now, right?
Ray Le Maistre
50%
50%
Ray Le Maistre,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/26/2013 | 11:46:16 AM
re: Alcatel-Lucent CEO Preps Kill List
Surely he is going to make his mark and have a different view, coming from outside the company? I think we might be in for some minor shocks.
^ip4g^
50%
50%
^ip4g^,
User Rank: Lightning
4/26/2013 | 10:46:31 AM
re: Alcatel-Lucent CEO Preps Kill List
... yes that would be the natural progression and end up with Fixed Broadband, Optics and IP. But then is that not pretty much what Alcatel had earlier.
In any which ways this is what logic suggests.. But then there could be some creative and radical thinking which Combes has up his sleeves.
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
CommScope – Meeting the Demands of Tomorrow's Networks

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Phil Sorksy, Vice President International at CommScope, discusses addressing the challenges faced by service providers today, and as future trends emerge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
AMS-IX & Huawei's OSN 902

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shows how its OSN 902 platform helps the Amsterdam Internet exchange to connect the world using multiplexing.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Smart Energy Innovation Center

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In Nuremberg, Huawei showcases its latest capabilities in the digitalization of Internet resources, network infrastructure and intelligence at its Smart Energy Innovation Center.
Valley Wonk
OFC & Hyperscale: A Good Mix?

3|24|17   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Cloud and telecom players want different types of equipment for their networks, as the chatter at OFC reveals.
LRTV Custom TV
Etisalat on NFV Journey

3|24|17   |   10:37   |   (0) comments


Etisalat is a service provider that prides itself on bringing innovative technologies to the markets it serves. It was one of the first operators to implement 3G and leads the pack in fiber penetration. Now, Esmaeel Al Hammadi, Etisalat's SVP of Network Development, explains the operator's journey to virtualization, beginning with the network core, as well as the ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments


Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments


The Citrix NetScaler mobile gateway is an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, NetScaler can be deployed on any hypervisor, on a ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments


2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: 2 Billion Adults 'Trapped' in Cash Economy

3|21|17   |   03:51   |   (1) comment


Despite advances made in the last several years, two billion adults around the world are trapped in a cash economy and lack what we take for granted -- a safe way to receive, save and use money. Shamina Singh, executive vice president of sustainability and president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, chats about how Mastercard is developing new ways to ...
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Welcome to the Wild West of Privacy
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/24/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.