The crisis at Ericsson deepened on Wednesday when the world's biggest maker of mobile network equipment reported a 94 percent plunge in quarterly operating profit and tumbling sales at its core networks division.
Shares in the Swedish company dropped more than 15 percent in early trading after it missed analysts' forecasts for a fifth straight quarter and said it saw no signs of a quick upturn.
Ericsson is struggling with weak demand for mobile network equipment in developed markets and stiff competition from Finland's Nokia and China's Huawei, with the former boosted by radical cost cutting following its merger with Alcatel.
The Swedish firm is now also cutting thousands of jobs, but it has come under fire from analysts and investors for being too slow to respond. Hans Vestberg was ousted at CEO in late July and the company is still looking for a permanent replacement.
"It seems that the main reason was the important business area networks which deviated the most," research firm Redeye said of the profit slide.
"Combining the market development with the lack of a permanent CEO and a major cost reduction program, there are the few things to be happy about," it said in a research note.
Ericsson said in a statement its third-quarter operating income plunged to 300 million Swedish crowns ($34.8 million) from 5.1 billion crowns a year ago, including restructuring charges of 1.3 billion crowns.
Sales dropped 14 percent to 51.1 billion crowns, including an almost 20 percent drop in its core networks division.