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What: Shares of Natus Medical (NASDAQ: BABY), a neurodiagnostic and medical device company specializing in newborn and infant care, sank as much as 15% after the company announced disappointing preliminary revenue figures for the second quarter.
So what: Shareholders were certainly reaching for their safety blanket after waking up this morning to updated revenue guidance from Natus calling for $81 million to $82 million in sales compared to its own previous guidance of $86 million to $90 million – and well below the Street's forecast of $88.8 million. Natus noted that U.S. sales remain on track to hit their targets, but a rapid drop-off in international sales, specifically in Europe, led to the shortfall.
Now what: Understandably, being just a preliminary revenue statement, CEO Jim Hawkins didn't have much to say about why the miss occurred. That lack of transparency to the miss is only going to eat at shareholders over the next few weeks until Natus officially reports its second-quarter results on Aug. 1. Natus is an intriguing company in that it operates in a well-defined specialty niche of newborn care that should give it inherent advantages over many of its industry peers. However, until we know the scope of why sales fell and if it's going to continue into the future, it might be best to stick to the sidelines.
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