Sun Microsystems Posts $1.7 Billion Loss

Sun Microsystemsposted a $1.7 billion loss for its latest quarter Thursday as the maker of servers and business software wrote down the value of the company because of the slow economy and the huge decline in its stock price.

"The economic downturn continued to weigh on our customers, especially those that contribute to our traditional high-end businesses," said Jonathan Schwartz, the chief executive. The financial services industry has been one of Sun's big customers.

Even excluding the goodwill write-down, Sun's results came in at the low end of its own forecast, which was lowered last week, and below analyst expectations.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company lost $1.68 billion, or $2.24 per share, in its fiscal first quarter, which ended Sept. 28. In the same period last year, it earned $89 million, or 10 cents per share.

Excluding the $1.45 billion goodwill impairment and a $63 million restructuring charge, Sun lost 9 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a loss of 8 cents per share.

Sales fell 7.1 percent to $2.99 billion, coming in below the analyst forecast of $3.05 billion.

Last week, Sun warned that it lost between 25 cents and 35 cents per share in the quarter, or 2 cents to 12 cents per share excluding charges. Analysts adjusted their estimates accordingly.

Shares of Sun Microsystems were largely unchanged in extended trading Thursday. staff contributed to this story.