3Com

(COMS)

posted a wider-than-expected loss in its third quarter Wednesday, blaming weaker industry conditions, higher costs and eroding prices and margins.

The maker of networking products lost $122.8 million, or 36 cents a share, compared with a profit of $88.3 million, or 22 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Nine analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

were expecting a loss of 33 cents a share.

The company, which is based in Santa Clara, Calif., reported revenue of $629.6 million, down from $1.1 billion in the year-ago period. 3Com said reduced demand took its toll on most product segments.

To cauterize the earnings hemorrhage, 3Com said it plans a restructuring to increase its focus on core markets. The company did not indicate specific restructuring actions, but said it plans to generate ongoing annual savings of $1 billion starting at the end of this fiscal year.

In pre-open

Instinet

trading, 3Com was recently 16 cents, or 2.5%, higher than its Tuesday close of $6.22.