3Com hit hard by tech slowdown

Networking equipment maker 3Com Corp. reported sluggish results Tuesday for its fourth fiscal quarter, with officials saying the company has been hit by the most far reaching slowdown ever faced by the technology sector.

The vendor reported US$468.0 million in revenue for the quarter ending June 1, down from $763.7 million in the same period last year. 3Com posted a net loss for the quarter of $206 million, or $0.61 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call expected a loss of $0.57 per share.

"Demand for our products, as with the rest of the industry, has dramatically declined," Bruce Claflin, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "But the impact has been even greater for us than many others, because segments where we have traditionally been strong were the hardest hit in the downturn."

"Our industry and company are undergoing fundamental changes," Claflin said. "They are traumatic, painful and necessary. But both our industry and company will be better off for having done it."

The results above include charges associated with inventory issues, restructuring costs and other items. Including those items 3Com lost $518 million in the quarter, or $1.52 per share.

The company is looking to reduce manufacturing costs, concentrate on developing products for higher growth areas and reach profitability by its fourth fiscal quarter, Claflin said. The company has cut its workforce by close to 40 percent since last November.

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