Publish date:

Sun Goes Gentle Into That Good Night

Sun Microsystems feels the strain of yet another tough quarter.

Updated from 5:06 p.m. EDT

Sun Microsystems

(JAVA)

suffered widening losses and took a third-quarter revenue hit as the tech giant limped toward its impending

TST Recommends

purchase

by

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

.

Sun's sales plunged as the firm wrestled with a tough spending climate and stiff

competition

from the likes of

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

and

Hewlett-Packard

(HPQ) - Get Report

. The Santa Clara, Ca.-based firm reported revenue of $2.6 billion, down from $3.3 billion in the same period last year, and well below analysts' estimate of $2.86 billion.

Sun's shares slipped 1 cent, or 0.11% in extended trading to $9.15.

The server and software company, which recently signed an agreement to be

acquired

by Oracle for $7.4 billion, posted a loss of 27 cents a share on a net loss of $201 million, compared to a loss of 4 cents a share and a loss of $34 million in the year-ago quarter. Sun's most recent quarter, however, included a $46 million restructuring charge.

Excluding charges, Sun reported a loss of 7 cents a share on a net loss of $52 million, down from a profit of 17 cents a share and net income of $132 million in the prior year's quarter. Analysts, however, had been expecting a loss of 19 cents a share.

The troubled tech giant, which was

courted

by

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

before Oracle made its bid earlier this month, has had a difficult few years.

The former darling of the dot.com era has earned a reputation for under-performing and has been dogged with execution issues and losses in the last few years, which culminated in the company's sale.

Competitors such as

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

have also been looking to

exploit the uncertainty

that has surrounded the firm and woo Sun customers onto their own technology. Even one-time

suitor

IBM has been turning the knife, and recently issued a statement saying that more than 100 companies worldwide chose IBM servers over Sun and Hewlett-Packard during the first quarter of this year.

In a clear sign of its changing status, Sun did not host a press conference to discuss its results, opting instead to send out a press release and post a series of financial slides on the investor relations section of its website. Even Sun's press release was unusually devoid of comments from the firm's CEO Jonathan Schwartz.