3Com ( COMS) shares traded higher late Tuesday, after the network equipment maker posted better-than-expected top- and bottom-line quarterly numbers. The Marlborough, Mass., company said it had a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of $166.7 million, or 41 cents a share, widening from a loss of $66.2 million, or 17 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, 3Com said it had a profit of 9 cents a share, ahead of the Thomson Reuters average estimate of 5 cents a share. Revenue rose 3.3% from a year ago to $321.3 million, but was down more than 4% sequentially. That compares to Wall Street's forecast of $315.3 million. Shares of 3Com were jumping 8% in late trading to $2.16. For the fiscal year 2008, 3Com generated a profit of 23 cents a share on an adjusted basis, as revenue increased 2% from a year ago to $1.29 billion. Both figures were slightly above analysts' forecasts. "In
fiscal year 2008 we made progress in several key areas, including growing revenue year-over-year in almost every region, increasing our gross margins and generating cash from operations," said CEO Bob Mao in a statement. Shares of 3Com finished nearly 1% lower during Tuesday's session but were up nearly 6% in late trading to $2.51 a share. Still, 3Com's stock has dropped 47% in what has been a rollercoaster 2008 as an agreement to take the company private was initially denied U.S. government approval before being retooled and then ultimately dropped in March.