Updated from 5:32 a.m. EST

Japanese electronics giant

NEC Corp.

plans to cut more than 20,000 employees worldwide after losses widened in the latest quarter and it forecast a loss for the full year as its semiconductor and other operations flounder amid the global downturn.

The job cuts include part-time workers, according to a spokesman,


reports. The spokesman wouldn't provide a timeframe for the cuts at NEC, which had more than 150,000 full-time employees as of Dec. 31, according to


. A separate report has the job cuts taking place by March 2010.

Tokyo-based NEC posted a net loss of 130 billion yen ($1.46 billion) for the October-December quarter, falling deeper into the red from a 5.2 billion yen loss in the same period last year.

NEC said its operations worsened in all areas, from information technology to mobile and electronic devices, as the company was faced with a deepening global slump and escalating competition in the electronics industry. NEC also blamed the stronger yen for squeezing profits.

Revenue for the fiscal third quarter was down slightly at 948 billion yen ($10.65 billion), compared with 1.05 trillion yen.

NEC now expects a net loss of 290 billion yen ($3.26 billion) for the full fiscal year through March, a steep plunge into the red from the 15 billion yen net profit projected in October. The company also cut its sales estimate to 4.2 trillion yen ($47.19 billion) for the full fiscal year, compared with the previous forecast of 4.6 trillion yen.

NEC shares declined 6.5% Friday in Tokyo. The company announced its earnings after trading closed.

NEC also is reportedly in discussions with rival


regarding a combination of some of their chip operations.



business daily said the talks focused on the possibility of Toshiba spinning off its system chip operations and incorporating them with NEC Electronics, a semiconductor unit owned by NEC.

NEC declined to confirm the report, saying it wasn't based on an official company announcement.

The job cuts at NEC follows news Friday that



is slashing 7,000 jobs and that automakers


(TM) - Get Report



(HMC) - Get Report

were slashing their earnings forecasts.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com. AP contributed to this report.