3Com's

(COMS)

fourth-quarter loss narrowed from a year ago, thanks to higher sales, and the company outlined plans to cut about 250 jobs.

3Com lost $15.2 million, or 4 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $58.3 million, or 15 cents a share, a year ago. The latest quarter had restructuring and amortization charges of $13 million, or 3 cents a share. The adjusted loss of 1 cent a share was 3 cents narrower than the Wall Street consensus.

Fourth-quarter sales rose 44% from a year ago to $255 million, reflecting in part the consolidation of 3Com's H-3C unit into the parent's financials. On a pro forma basis, fourth-quarter sales rose 22% from a year ago to $304 million. Analysts were forecasting $264 million in the quarter.

3Com plans to cut 250 full-time employees and close 21 facilities in its secure converged-networks division and take a restructuring charge of $10 million to $13 million.

"I am pleased with the progress that we have made in the past quarter in moving 3Com toward a profitable business model. H-3C delivered strong results, and we have continued to reduce the operating loss of our SCN business through solid cost control," said Scott Murray, the CEO. "We believe that the cost realignment announced today will be a significant part of achieving our goal of future profitability."

The stock closed at $4.43 Wednesday. In after-hours trading, the shares gained 2 cents to $4.45.