Presstek reports $5.4m loss

Presstek Inc.’s revenues fell by a third in the last quarter, resulting in a net loss of $5.4 million, despite extensive cost-cutting measures, the company reported Monday.

The Hudson, N.H.-based provider of printing equipment had earned $200,000 during the same quarter last year. The most recent loss brings total losses year to date to $48.6 million, compared to the first nine months of 2008 when the company earned nearly $1 million.

Driving the loss was a sharp drop in sales, from $48.5 million to $33 million. Year-to-date figures paint a similar story. The company thus far has sold $101 million in goods and services. Last year, at the same time, revenues were close to $151 million.

The biggest sales drop was in sales of the company’s printing press. The company sold $3.6 million worth of equipment in the last quarter, compared to $15.2 million in the same quarter of the previous year — a 76 percent drop.

Sales have been “negatively impacted by the global economic recession,” the company said. Consumables were off because people printed less and even service revenue was down.

Contributing to the loss was an “abnormally” large inventory charge of $1.7 million. The company got in trouble with regulators over accounting practices relating to inventory under previous management, so this could reflect an adjustment.

Expenses were down to $13.9 million, but the 5.7 percent decline was partly due to increased spending on a restructuring program, which should result in annualized savings of another $10 million in a year.

While the company’s cash position improved slightly compared to the beginning of this year, rising from $4.7 million to $7.2 million, its receivables – $24.6 million – is down about $6 million. Stockholder equity was $57 million at the end of the quarter, slightly more than half the amount nine months ago.

Presstek shares closed Monday at $2.20, up 41 cents. – BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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