Presstek posts $1.8m loss


Presstek Inc. faced an across-the-board sales decline that resulted in a quarterly net loss of $1.84 million, or a nickel a share, despite cost cutting, according to the company’s earnings report released on Monday.The Hudson-based provider of printing equipment’s bottomline did improve, though not as much as it seemed. During the second quarter of 2009 the company lost nearly $41.5 million, but much of last year’s hemorrhaging was a result of $19.1 million write-off of goodwill and deferral of tax assets of $16 million. Without those two one-time charges in 2009, 2010’s net loss still represents an improvement of about $2 million over the previous quarter.The company’s sales were down by $1.9 million to $31.6 million. Revenue declined on equipment, service and consumables, though “growth” consumables – the more modern digital plates – did improve.“We saw a reluctance by our North American base of small to mid-sized customers to make capital equipment purchases primarily due to reduced access to financing and an increased skepticism that the U.S. economic recovery was sustainable in the near term,” said Presstek Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Jacobson.The company’s bottomline improved, however, because operating expenses -- excluding last year’s goodwill write-off -- declined by $2.6 million, primarily as a result of decreases in payroll costs, professional service fees and travel expenses. The expense decline was offset by $400,000, which was used to attend the IPEX tradeshow, a print equipment expo that happens once every four years. The company’s workforce is down to 518 -- 90 fewer employees than a year ago.The company reduced its debt net of cash by $4.3 million to $8.8 million, thanks to the sale of its Lasertel subsidiary in the first quarter of 2010. But cash and equivalents are down to $2.4 million, compared to $5.8 million at the beginning of the year, and stock holders equity is at $54.7 million, about $2.1 million less than in January.Presstek stock closed Monday at $2.22 a share. – BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW
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