Gerber Scientific

(GRB)

reported a higher-than-expected third-quarter loss Thursday and said it will cut roughly 14% of its workforce and suspend its dividend payment. The company also warned that its full-year 2001 earnings also would fall short of forecasts. It blamed the weaker economic climate and a strong dollar, which hit foreign operations.

For its third-quarter ending Jan. 31, Gerber Scientific lost $3.6 million, or 17 cents a share, down from its year-ago earnings of $8.3 million, or 37 cents a share. Two analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

expected the company, which is based in South Windsor, Conn., to earn 2 cents a share.

Gerber Scientific, a supplier of corporate management and financial services, posted third-quarter revenue of $134.2 million, down from $155.5 million in the same period one year ago. The company said it expects to report fourth-quarter revenue of $145 million.

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For the full year, Gerber Scientific forecast sales will be roughly $560 million, and expects to lose $5.2 million, or 23 cents a share, including a special charge of $2.8 million, or 13 cents a share. The two-analyst consensus was for the company to earn 20 cents a share.

For 2002, Gerber Scientific estimates sales will be $560 to $565 million, and earnings will reach 45 cents to 50 cents a share. Analysts were looking for earnings of 55 cents a share.

Gerber Scientific said it will eliminate 350 to 400 jobs, taking a $20 million to $22 million restructuring charge, and will save $30 million to $35 million dollars from the cuts.

The company said it will suspend its 8-cent-a-share quarterly dividend payment in hopes of increasing its cash flow by $7 million a year.

Shares of Gerber Scientific were down 1 cent, or 0.1%, to $7 in early trading Thursday on the

New York Stock Exchange

.