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said Wednesday its fiscal third-quarter revenue and earnings would be "substantially lower" than previously forecast due to reduced demand and economic conditions.

The maker of computer networks products said it expects revenue to be between $625 million and $640 million. The company had previously projected revenue of $725 million to $750 million during its last conference call in December, according to published reports.

The company said its third-quarter operating loss, excluding amortization, restructuring and other one-time items, will be between $235 million and $245 million, compared with the projection of $80 million to $100 million the company gave in December. The company did not give loss-per-share figures. Seven analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

were calling for a loss of 14 cents a share.

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Two days ago 3Com said it

cut about 1,200 employees as part of a larger cost-cutting initiative.

"The sudden and substantial slowing of the U.S. economy dramatically impacted the company's revenue and gross margin performance during the quarter,'' the company said in a statement. "3Com is committed to achieving a lower cost structure based on the realities of the current economic climate, while continuing to invest for long-term profitable, growth.''

Shares of 3Com rose 13 cents, or 1.4%, to $9.13 in regular-session


trading, but fell to $8 in recent after-hours