* Q1 loss 76 cents a share vs EPS of 31 cents a year ago
* Books Wavecom deal costs, restructuring charge
* Says even though revenue down, better than expected
(In U.S. dollars unless noted)
TORONTO, April 30 (Reuters) - Sierra Wireless Inc SW.TOSWIR.O swung to a first-quarter loss as the global economic slowdown contributed to a sharp decline in revenue from sales of its mobile modems, the company said on Thursday.
Sierra lost $23.7 million, or 76 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a profit of $9.7 million, or 31 cents, a year earlier.
Revenue dropped to $111.4 million from $141.9 million a year earlier. Even so, revenue and adjusted earnings of $4.3 million were better than expected, the company said.
Late last year, Sierra said it was buying Wavecom, a French wireless technology provider, for about $275 million. During the first quarter, Sierra booked $6.5 million in transaction costs, it said.
Also, Sierra said in January it would lay off 56 people to cut costs. It took a $1.6 million pre-tax charge related to the move in the first quarter.
For the second quarter, it forecast total revenue of $139 million as it integrates Wavecom, and an adjusted loss of $2 million, or 6 cents a share.
Sierra reported its results after markets closed. During the day, its shares rose 41 Canadian cents to close at C$6.76 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
$1=$1.19 Canadian Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; Editing by Frank McGurty