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Telecom suppliers face more bad times

Date: 11/13/2008 12:33:25 PM

Vendors that make telecommunications equipment used by consumers or large phone carriers are bracing for a difficult 2009 as customers pare back on their spending to cope with whats unfolding as an economic downturn on a global scale.

Earlier this week, Nortel Networks Corp. (NT:Nortel Networks Corporation News, chart, profile, more Delayed quote dataAdd to portfolio Analyst Create alertInsider Discuss Financials posted a huge third-quarter loss and unveiled further layoffs in anticipation of reduced demand for its goods. Shares of the long-ailing Canadian networker sank 19% on the day of the announcement -- and the stock touched an all-time low of 52 cents. See full story.

Not even large, healthy companies such as Nokia Corp., which caters more to consumers, are immune in the current climate. Shares of Nokia Delayed quote dataAdd to portfolio Analyst Create alertInsider Discuss Financials retreating as the Finnish mobile giant said the wireless industry would sell fewer handsets in 2009 than it did in 2008. The stock now sits at a four-year low.

Just a few months ago, the picture didnt appear quite as bleak. Industry executives were expecting a slowdown, perhaps an even a sharp one -- but not on the scale that some now predict.

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