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Fitch upgrades Lucent

NEW YORK-Ratings company Fitch has raised its ratings on Lucent Technologies Inc. to B from CCC+ for its unsecured debt, a renewed signal that the wireless bellwether is out of the woods.

“The Stable Rating Outlook reflects Fitch’s belief that although there still remains some volatility in the company’s end markets, the operational environment should continue to stabilize in fiscal 2004 with revenues flat to slightly up and expectations for an overall profit for 2004, excluding the impact of the revaluation of warrants to be issued as part of a shareholder settlement,” noted Fitch.

After limping through several loss-making quarters, Lucent has broken even and has reduced its debts considerably.
In a quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company also said it has filed a lawsuit against its insurance carriers to recover its March 2003 agreement to settle 53 separate lawsuits. The amount it wants to recover is $315 million in cash and stock.

“We have filed a lawsuit against them to recover these amounts,” the company said, “The charge for the settlement will be revised in future quarters if we are able to recover a portion of the settlement from our fiduciary insurance carriers, as well as to reflect additional changes in the fair value of the warrants until they are issued.’

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