Restructuring costs and lower sales have pushed telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent into a third-quarter loss.

Alcatel-Lucent said Friday it lost €146 million ($188 million) in the July-September quarter. That's down from a €194 million profit in the same quarter a year earlier. Sales also slid 2.8 percent to €3.6 billion.

Alcatel-Lucent's stock price plunged on the worse-then-expected loss. By midmorning Paris time, the shares were down 6 percent at €0.77.

The company is on-track to report another full-year loss in 2012, a mere year after it finally turned around steep losses stemming from the 2006 merger between France's Alcatel and Lucent of the U.S.

The Franco-American company is in the middle of a €1.25 billion restructuring program aimed at cutting 5,500 jobs, ending unprofitable contracts and leaving, or reorganizing operations, in poor markets.

Chief Executive Ben Verwaayen said Alcatel is making "good progress" on the restructuring and was on track to complete the plan by the end of 2013.

Alcatel-Lucent supplies telecommunication carriers such as AT&T, Verizon and France Telecom. It competes with European rivals such as LM Ericsson AB of Sweden and Nokia Siemens Networks of Finland.

But it has struggled to turn a profit since the 2006 merger. Rounds of cost-cutting helped it make 2011 its first full-year profit since the tie-up.