Alcatel-Lucent is on track to make its first profit next year since its 2006 merger, CEO Ben Verwaayen said today after the network-gear maker reported fourth-quarter earnings and lowered its operating-profit margin for this year. "We are on a three-year path to recovery. By 2011, it should be mission accomplished," he said. Still, Alcatel shares plunged on the lower targets, which signaled "yet another tough year of price aggression in the wireless-infrastructure market," JPMorgan analysts wrote in a note. For the fourth quarter, Alcatel reported earnings of 46 million euros ($63.4 million), compared with a loss of 3.9 billion euros a year earlier. Revenue fell to 3.97 billion euros from 4.95 billion euros.

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