Cable- and telecommunications-equipment vendor Lucent Technologies said
rumors that it is close to filing for bankruptcy protection are 'baseless.'
Rumors of a pending bankruptcy apparently began circulating early Wednesday,
prompting investors to dump the stock. Lucent shares dropped to an all-time low
in early trading Wednesday -- $5.50 each, down $2.35. But the stock gained some
of that ground back -- it closed at $6.78 per share, down $1.07 -- after Lucent
issued a statement denying any bankruptcy plans.
'The rumors that Lucent is filing for bankruptcy are baseless and
irresponsible,' chief financial officer Deborah Hopkins said in a prepared
Lucent has been under fire to reduce its $6.5 billion debt load while it
weathers a declining business and mounting losses. In its fiscal first quarter,
ended Dec. 31, the company reported a net loss of $1 billion, or 30 cents per
Lucent was able to offload $2.5 billion of its debt through the initial
public offering of its Agere Systems Inc. network-component unit last week. The
vendor said it will raise another $519 million through the issuance of an
additional 90 million shares of Agere, which could also be used to pay down
'Let me be very clear: Our $6.5 billion lines of credit provide the financial
resources and the financial flexibility to execute our turnaround plan,' Hopkins
said in the statement. 'We are already seeing positive impacts from our
comprehensive restructuring program.'