Hirsch International has reported what it has described as a "frustrating" third quarter, as it unveiled a net loss for the period of US$119,000, compared to a net income of $424,000 from the prior-year quarter.

The net loss included the impact of $218,000, or 2 cents a share, of non-cash charges associated with the vesting of equity-based compensation arising from the issuance of stock option awards.

Quarterly sales were $11.9 million, compared with $12.3m in the year-ago period.

Paul Gallagher, president and CEO of the embroidery, screen-printing and textile laser company said: "This was a disappointing and frustrating quarter, even in light of the overall weakness in capital goods markets. Importantly, most of our customers remain busy, however their concern over the potential slowdown in the economy has continued to impact their near term capital spending decisions. On the brighter side, we are selling "start-up" systems in record numbers; our transformation from an embroidery equipment company to a decorated apparel equipment company is nearly complete; and the markets' acceptance of our new screen-print and textile laser product lines is exceptionally positive."

Gallagher concluded: "As we move into the fourth quarter, we are focused on continuing to improve those areas where we performed below expectations while continuing to execute on our strategic initiatives to expand our business within and tangent to the US$6 billion decorated apparel industry. Our balance sheet continues to provide the perfect platform for this growth with an almost $2.00 per share equity value, of which 80% is in cash. We are looking forward to 2008, our fortieth year in business, to capitalize on our strong market and financial position, a great team, and the benefit of the infrastructure investments being made this year."