Late Thursday, Gateway ( GTW) announced yet another massive layoff amid an ongoing, painful restructuring at the company. After the latest downsizing is completed by the end of this year, the company's staff will shrink by nearly three quarters from the close of 2003. The company also said its first-quarter sales bested Wall Street expectations, although its loss was slightly worse than expected. After hours, Gateway stock was recently down 14 cents, or 2.6%, to $4.67. In regular trading, the stock lost 14 cents or 2.6% to close at $5.31. The PC and consumer gadgets maker said after the close that it plans to shrink its staff to only 2,000 people by the end of 2004, down from a staff of around 7,400 at the close of 2003. The company has already roughly halved its work force just this year. Following the closure of 188 retail stores earlier this month, the company was left with a staff of 3,500 people. Reflecting the desperate straits that have prompted the massive downsizing, Gateway said after the bell that first-quarter sales rose a mere 2.8% from last year to $868 million, at a time many of its larger competitors have seen double-digit growth. Gateway's revenue did come in well above the consensus estimate for $797.9 million, however. The company narrowed its loss slightly to $165 million, compared to a loss of $200 million a year ago. It lost 49 cents per share according to generally accepted accounting principles. The GAAP figure reflects restructuring and transformation expenses of $104 million, or 31 cents a share, and a tax benefit of $13 million, or 4 cents a share. Excluding one-time charges and benefits, Gateway would have seen a per-share loss of 22 cents, slightly worse than the consensus estimate for 20 cents.