May 2010’s loser of the month: Alcatel-Lucent

alcatel_lucent-150x112Out of stock and unable to generate turnover. Try explaining that to your shareholders. Ben Verwaayen tried, and failed. The Dutch CEO of Alcatel-Lucent had the job of announcing a loss of 515 million Euros at the end of the first quarter of this year. That was a hefty 100 million Euros more than in the first quarter of 2009 when the crisis was at its peak. The reason was a lack of stock. “We were unable to fulfil customer demand due to the limited stock availability,” he explained in one announcement. Yet, in the fourth quarter, history repeated itself. After the crisis hit, the French-American organisation reduced its stock too dramatically and, now that demand is picking up faster than expected, are having to say no. The fast-growing popularity of the smart phone demands extra network capacity, especially in North America. Investors were not impressed by the CEO’s explanation and the quarterly announcement sent the share price plummeting.