Thomas & Betts

(TNB)

expects to report a loss for the fourth quarter, as the company announced additional charges in the period and a probe by the

Securities and Exchange Commission

into its accounting practices.

The maker of connectors and components for electrical and communications markets said it will record an additional $60 million in charges in the fourth quarter due, in part, to the decision to discontinue or dispose of product lines, along with changes in the company's investment in industry-related business-to-business activities. Thomas & Betts also said some of the charges will be applied to prior periods, as the company plans to restate its financial results for at least 1999 and 2000.

"Our earnings expectations for the fourth quarter are not a good barometer of the progress we have made, and continue to make, in correcting the multiple issues affecting Thomas & Betts and positioning the company for growth,'' the company said in a statement. "We are disappointed with the need to take additional charges, but found that they were necessary to establish a solid foundation for moving the company forward.''

The SEC has started a formal investigation into the accounting, control and financial reporting practices that led to the charges the company disclosed in August. Thomas & Betts said it is "cooperating fully" with the agency.

Thomas & Betts said that although an exact date hasn't been set, it expects to report fourth-quarter earnings by mid-March. A three-analyst consensus compiled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

is calling for the company to lose 21 cents in the quarter.

Shares of Thomas & Betts lost 39 cents, or 1.8%, to $21.23 in

New York Stock Exchange

trading.