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Why National Instruments Stock Slid Today

By Chris Neiger – May 1, 2020 at 4:07PM

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Investors weren't happy with the company's first-quarter results.

What happened

Shares of National Instruments (NATI -0.39%), a supplier of measurement and automation products and software, were down today after the company reported slowing sales and earnings yesterday, in its first-quarter earnings report.

National Instruments' stock was down 4.9% as of 3:49 p.m. EDT.

Line and bar charts on a black background.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The company's sales declined by less than 1% in the first quarter, to $309 million. National Instruments said in its quarterly press release that customer purchasing behaviors were disrupted because of COVID-19.

The slowdown in sales impacted the company's earnings as well, with fully diluted non-GAAP earnings per share falling 13% year over year to $0.26.

Though the company is feeling the effects of the global pandemic, National Instruments' chief financial officer, Karen Rapp, noted that, "Our ability to close the quarter within guidance during this unprecedented crisis brings me confidence. Our strategic focus is clear and our current outlook for long-term growth remains positive."

But investors are likely concerned about the impact that the growing number of unemployed workers in the U.S., and the increasing economic uncertainty around the globe, will have on National Instruments in the coming quarters.

Now what 

Like many other companies right now, National Instruments isn't providing guidance for its second quarter. The company said in its press release that, "The total impact of COVID-19 on our economy remains highly uncertain and we have limited visibility into the second quarter making the impact hard to quantify."

Investors will have to wait until the company gives a business update on June 9 to get a little more color on how National Instruments is doing in its second quarter. Management said that that's when it will have "clearer insight" into how the quarter is progressing.

Chris Neiger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends National Instruments. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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