STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ LM Ericsson, a leading wireless equipment maker, recorded a third-quarter net loss of 4 billion kronor ($374 million) Thursday as sales fell 19 percent amid a continuing market slowdown.

The loss compared with a profit of 4.4 billion kronor in the same period last year. Sales for the three month period ending Sept. 30 were 54.6 billion kronor ($5.1 billion), down from 67.3 billion kronor at the same time last year.

The troubled Stockholm-based company also said chairman Lars Ramqvist will not seek re-election at next year's annual meeting. He will be replaced with Electrolux chief executive Michael Treschow, pending shareholder approval.

Ericsson had planned to release its results Friday morning but unveiled them early after some of the figures were leaked to the media, although not all of them were accurate. Ericsson said late Thursday that it was investigating the leak.

The company said sales in its key network equipment division were down 11 percent year on year to 43 billion kronor ($4 billion). It said the systems unit made a slight operating profit, with a margin of 1 percent but warned that conditions in the market would remain difficult.

Ericsson, which has been especially hard hit in its cell phone division, has spun off most of its phone operations into a joint venture with Japan's Sony Corp. that started operations on Oct. 1.

The company, which has operations in 140 countries, cited success in its restructuring program, saying 6,800 of the 10,000 planned job cuts had been carried out.

Shares of Ericsson closed up 20 cents at $4.35 on the Nasdaq Stock Market before Ericsson's results were released. In after-hours trading, the shares rose to $4.44.