Lucent Gets Leveled

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At least four analysts revised their outlook on Lucent Technologies Inc. last week, after the company issued a warning that fourth-quarter profit growth would be slower than expected. This was the third time this year that the company, which makes telecommunications and cable equipment, revised its growth forecast, prompting a flurry of analyst activity.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter started things off, lowering its rating on Lucent from "strong buy" from "outperform," and setting a $40 price target. Three other analysts slashed their 2000 earnings per share estimates on the stock: Goldman, Sachs & Co. Inc. (to $1 from $1.33), PaineWebber Inc. (to $1.01 from $1.18) and Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. (to $1 from $1.18). Lucent shares were hammered in early trading last Wednesday, falling 30 percent ($9.63) to $21.94.

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