Alcatel Is Getting A Lot Of Wrong Numbers

It was a terrible year for Pierre Suard, chief executive of Alcatel Alsthom, the French telecommunications and energy giant. In the past 12 months, the $29 billion goliath has suffered one setback after another. Its German subsidiary lost almost $400 million, forcing overall profits down an estimated 43%. Alcatel's stock tumbled some 55%. Rivals widened their lead in new markets such as cellular communications. French magistrates investigated whether Alcatel overcharged its largest customer, France Telecom, by $125 million, and in a separate case, whether the company illegally funded political parties.

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