Sun Micro reports loss, will cut jobs

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Sun Microsystems Inc. reported an unexpected third-quarter net loss Thursday and announced plans to cut 1,500 to 2,500 jobs after slow sales in the U.S. dragged down overseas gains. The shares fell 8.1%.

The net loss was $34 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with profit of $67 million, or 7 cents, a year earlier, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun said. Sales were little changed at $3.27 billion in the period that ended March 30, missing the $3.38-billion average estimate.

Excluding costs such as stock-based compensation and acquisition expenses, profit was 18 cents a share. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey had estimated a profit of 19 cents.

While Sun grew in parts of Asia and Europe last quarter, U.S. sales posed "significant challenges," Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz said. He has expanded Sun's software business in a bid to spur sales of its server computers, which lost market share last year.

Sun shares fell $2.47 to $13.86 in extended trading after closing at $16.33 before the earnings news. The stock has dropped 9.9% this year.

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