Updated from 7:49 a.m. EDT

The bloodletting continued at wireless-equipment giant



, as the company posted a third-quarter net loss and a sharp decline in sales.

The world's largest wireless-infrastructure company said it lost $596 million (5.6 billion Swedish kronor), or 4 cents a share, on sales of $3.5 billion in the latest quarter, compared with a loss of $458 million (4.3 billion Swedish kronor), or 4 cents a share, on sales of $5 billion last year.

The company took a one-time restructuring charge of $450 million.

Wall Street expected a 2 cent per-share net loss on revenue of $3.5 billion.

"In the near term, the industry outlook continues to be uncertain," the company said in a statement. "Many operators pursue more gradual 3G rollouts or target fewer markets. However, we are also seeing consolidations, restructurings and a more favorable regulatory environment, which we view as positive signs toward market stabilization."

The company expects the global market for mobile systems to decline by 20% this year, and sees its own sales falling by more than that.

Ericsson shares fell 3 cents, or 5.6%, to 51 cents in early morning trading. Its share price has spent most of its time since late July in penny stock territory.

The company also announced it expects to delist itself from the French, Swiss and German stock exchanges, as most of the stock's trading activity occurs on Swedish exchanges, Nasdaq and the London exchange. To remain listed on the Nasdaq, the company plans to execute a 1-for-10 reverse split of its American depositary shares.

Ericsson also said phone sales, through its joint venture with


, were essentially flat at $873 million, which led to a net loss of $53.2 million.

The company expects to turn a profit sometime in 2003.