But adjusted earnings beat Street forecasts.
SARASOTA — Helios Technologies Inc. posted a net loss and a double-digit decline in sales during a coronavirus-impacted first quarter.
The Sarasota-based company, a global player in the hydraulics and electronics markets, reported a net loss of $17.2 million, or 54 cents per share, compared with a net profit of $16.4 million, or 51 cents, one year earlier.
That marked the first loss for the company, then known as Sun Hydraulics Corp., since it lost $536,000 in the second quarter of 2009.
Sales were down 12% over the year to $129.5 million, but that beat analysts’ consensus estimates of $121.5 million, according to StreetInsider.
Helios, one of the largest manufacturing operations in the Sarasota-Manatee region, reported non-GAAP earnings per share of 56 cents, topping analysts estimates of 42 cents, StreetInsider said.
The results exceeded the company’s expectations, said chief financial officer and interim president/CEO Tricia Fulton, despite "a softer demand environment" than in 2019.
"Most of the quarter was business as usual for us, with the COVID-19 pandemic conditions resulting in about $5 million lower sales in the quarter," she said in the earnings announcement. "As a result of government mandates, our China operations were shut down for six weeks beginning in February through mid-March. Production at our facility in Italy was shut down for four weeks in March and April, although customer shipping activities continued."
The Faster facility in Italy opened for full production on Monday, Fulton said, but economic conditions from the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a $31.9 million noncash goodwill impairment charge relating to that business unit in the quarter.
"All of our other significant operations were deemed essential and are running near full capacity. We implemented substantial procedures to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep our employees safe and healthy while responding to the needs of our customers," she added.
Fulton stepped into the interim CEO role last month after the board of directors fired Wolfgang Dangel, who led the company for four years, over violations of company policy that included a relationship with an employee.
Helios had earlier withdrawn its guidance for the year given the uncertainty of the global economic shutdown from the coronavirus.
"The economic impact of the pandemic has negatively affected our sales and orders for April," Fulton said. "We expect second-quarter headwinds but anticipate that the largest impact was in the month of April due to shutdowns of many of our global OEM customers. A portion of our backlog has been postponed from April to later in the second quarter and a smaller number of orders have been canceled. With ongoing significant uncertainty, we do not have sufficient visibility to reinstate guidance for 2020."
Shares of Helios closed Monday at $32.59, down $1.36 on the Nasdaq.