Wireless telecom companies were sliding in afternoon trading as big guns

Ericsson

( ERICY) and

Nokia

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both warned investors to expect an underwhelming second quarter and second half.

Both companies reported earnings this morning, but neither provided much reason to get excited for the remainder of the year. Shares of Ericsson dropped 18% to $5.82 in recent

Nasdaq

trading. The 52-week low is $4.75. Nokia was holding up fairly well in afternoon activity, losing 10 cents, or 0.3%, to $31.50.

Nokia said first-quarter

sales rose to $7.17 billion, a 22% increase from the year-ago period. However, the company took some of the wind out of its own sails by lowering its revenue projections for the second quarter and full year. Ericsson

lost $482.9 million in the quarter, a result that was even worse than market projections, and the company said it expects to post a similar loss in the second quarter. Furthermore, Ericsson said it sees no sign of a recovery in the near term.

Todd Bernier, an analyst with

Morningstar

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, said the combined warnings by the Scandinavian duo will have a much wider reach. "It's not just Ericsson and Nokia that are going to get hurt, you can be sure it will trickle down the food chain," he said. "When someone like Ericsson says it's going to grow 5% to 15%, that's pretty bad, especially when you're the top dog. The takeaway here is that the industry is slowing quickly, and all those projections we saw six months ago are absolutely ridiculous."

Other handset makers skidded, as well.

Motorola

( MOT) was off 0.6% to $16, while

Qualcomm

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staggered lower by 6.2%, to $62.23.

Vodafone

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fell 4% to $31.95, and

VoiceStream Wireless

(VSTR)

shed 1.1% to $103.81.

AT&T Wireless

( AWE) fell 1.3% to $20.82.