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MURRAY HILL, N.J. (AP) _ Lucent Technologies, once one of the highest flying stocks on Wall Street, traded below $1 a share for the first time Tuesday.

The stock closed at exactly $1 per share, down 7 cents or 6.54 percent, on the New York Stock Exchange. It had traded as low as 97 cents.

Volume came to 152.5 million shares, more than three times the stock's recent average volume.

Lucent shares peaked at about $84 per share in December 1999.

Already battered by anemic demand for telecommunications gear, the company warned earlier this month that its sales this quarter will decline as much as 25 percent, resulting in its ninth straight loss and virtually guaranteeing more layoffs.

The company reported that excluding one-time items, it will lose about 45 cents per share in its fiscal fourth quarter. That's nearly three times the loss of 16 cents per share forecast by analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.