Shares of French tech company Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU) were booming Friday morning after the company announced it was profitable for the first time since 2006.
Alcatel-Lucent reported earnings of $1.46 billion for 2011, up from a $440 million loss the year before. Adjusted operating profit margins were particularly strong — at 3.9%, they were almost double last year’s figure, though ALU was aiming to reach margins of 5%. ALU also said it would improve on that number this year through cost-cutting measures.
The news sent Alcatel-Lucent stock up by more than 13% by midday. ALU shares are at their highest point since early November, and their 40% year-to-date return is a reverse course from last year, when they lost almost 75% from April 2011 highs.
Still, Alcatel-Lucent, which produces telecommunications equipment, is suffering from slow sales that were down 2.1% in 2011 and 13% for the fourth quarter, with particular sluggishness coming from North America.
— Kyle Woodley, InvestorPlace.com Assistant Editor