3Com Loss Doubles in Second Quarter - 1

3Com said its loss more than doubled in its latest quarter, as sales declined and it took charges for layoffs and investments.

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (AP)—3Com Corp. Wednesday said its loss more than doubled in its latest quarter, as sales declined and it took charges for layoffs and investments.

The maker of computer networking gear reported a loss of $138.9 million, or 37 cents a share for its fiscal second quarter, ended Nov. 28. In the same period last year, it lost $68.5 million, or 19 cents a share.

Analysts had expected the company to report a loss of 14 cents a share, excluding charges, according to a survey by Thomson First Call. The Marlborough-based company didnt provide a figure comparable to that estimate.

Sales fell to $181.9 million from $272.2 million a year ago but were higher than the First Call mean estimate of $166.6 million.

The company wrote down the value of its investments by $12 million and took $23 million in severance charges. In September, the company said it would lay off 1,000 employees, or about a third of its work force, and outsource the work.

In the current quarter, the company expects sales of desktop, mobile and server parts to drop 30 percent, while sales across the rest of the product portfolio should increase modestly from the last quarter.

Shares of 3Com, which reported after the bell, closed at $7.70, down 20 cents, or 2.5 percent, on the Nasdaq Stock Market. In 6 p.m. EST after-hours trading, the shares were up 20 cents.