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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


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






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


from the likes of






. 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


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





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

The former darling of the 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



have also been looking to

exploit the uncertainty

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


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.