Sycamore Networks

(SCMR)

narrowed its net losses in the fiscal second quarter, though sales plunged from a year ago.

In after-hours trading, the stock slipped 41 cents, or 8%, to $4.94.

The Chelmsford, Mass.-based maker of optical switches posted a net loss of $13 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $16.1 million, or 6 cents a share, last year. But revenue slid 36% to $6.9 million from $10.9 million in the same period in 2003.

On a pro forma basis, excluding certain costs, the firm said it earned $11 million, or 4 cents a share, compared to $14 million, or 5 cents last year. Analysts sponsored by Thomson First Call were looking for 4 cents a share on sales of $7.64 million.

"While the optical switching environment remains difficult, we continue to work to address Sycamore's opportunities and challenges," said CEO Daniel Smith.

Demand for switches has dwindled in the past few years as large phone companies have cut back spending. Although some analysts have said they are seeing signs of a turnaround in the industry, Sycamore competitor

Ciena

(CIEN) - Get Report

warned recently of a revenue and earnings shortfall, due to a single order delay. Shares of Sycamore have fallen 16% since mid-January but are still up more than 2% for the year.