Wouldn't mind looking down the back of its sofa...US networking giant Lucent has posted a whopping $8bn loss for its third quarter after further deterioration in the telecoms market and a huge one-off tax charge. The results mean Lucent hasn't been in the black for more than two years. Because of the continuing dismal state of the market, the company is to lay off another 7,000 people, taking its workforce down to around 46,000. In 2000 Lucent employed more than 100,000 people. Today's results looked all the worse because it recorded a non-cash charge of $5.8bn after it decided the money it thought it had saved on tax will have to be paid after all. However, even discounting the one-off write down, the figures are grim. Revenues were down 50 per cent on the equivalent quarter in the previous year. In addition, Lucent's pro-forma loss of 16 cents per share was worse than analysts' expectations of 14 cents per share. Lucent also refused to provide analyst guidance for the forthcoming quarter, because of "ongoing market uncertainty". It said only that it hopes to be back in profit by 2003. Lucent's CEO Patricia Russo said in a statement the market continued to be very challenging. She added: "Capital spending restraints have intensified and remained in place far longer than anyone would have predicted."