Sun Microsystems


announced weak preliminary results Tuesday as the server specialist streamlines its finances ahead of its




(ORCL) - Get Report


Oracle threw down

$7.4 billion

for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun earlier this year, and Sun is now looking to get charges off its books prior to the deal's conclusion.

On a non-GAAP basis, Sun expects a fourth-quarter loss of between 6 cents a share and 16 cents a share, which excludes the impact of restructuring, stock-based compensation, lowered value of assets and acquisition-related costs. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast a loss of 1 cent a share.

Including charges, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based firm predicts a loss of between 24 cents a share and 34 cents a share.

By clearing charges off its books, Sun is clearly looking to limit the acquisition's impact on Oracle's earnings. The deal, which is expected to close this summer, marks a strategic shift for Larry Ellison's company, which has built its business around software, not hardware.

The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based firm sent shockwaves through the tech sector when it


the beleaguered tech giant, which had also been a




(IBM) - Get Report


Like many tech companies, Sun has been wrestling with the IT spending slowdown, and suffered

widening losses

in its recent third-quarter results.

This trend looks set to continue, and Sun expects fourth-quarter revenue between $2.58 billion and $2.68 billion, down from $3.78 billion in the same period last year, and well below analysts' estimate of $3.03 billion.

Sun, which has earned a reputation for poor execution during recent years, is also coming under pressure from rivals eager to exploit its current predicament.

"There's accelerated opportunities," said Steve Schuckenbrock, president of


(DELL) - Get Report

large enterprise business, during the company's annual analyst day Tuesday. "We have put programs in place to help customers migrate from Unix to Linux."

Sun's shares were flat at $9.16 Tuesday, as the Nasdaq rose 0.21%. Oracle's stock dipped 7 cents, or 0.36% to $20.65.

The server giant will hold a

shareholder meeting

to vote on the Oracle acquisition Thursday.