What happened 

Shares of Diebold Nixdorf (NYSE:DBD), a manufacturer of automated self-service transaction systems and the software they run on, skyrocketed by as much as 25% today as investors digested news from the company's first quarter.

As of 3:39 p.m. EDT, shares were up 13.8%. 

A line and bar chart on a blue background.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The company's non-GAAP (adjusted) loss per share of $0.34 was greater than analysts' consensus estimate loss of $0.28. But investors weren't deterred by the earnings miss, perhaps because the first-quarter 2020 loss was an improvement from the company's non-GAAP loss of $0.63 in the year-ago quarter.

Diebold Nixdorf's sales of $910.7 million were down 11.4% from its first-quarter 2019 sales, which was in line with management's expectations, due to "headwinds of approximately $69 million from currency effects, divestitures and the COVID-19 impact."

While it was surprising that Diebold's stock was moving so far into positive territory following the quarterly results, investors may have been optimistic that the company's net loss of $93.4 million was an improvement of 29% from the first quarter of 2019. Additionally, Diebold Nixdorf's CEO, Gerrard Schmid, remained positive about the company's first-quarter and full-year outlook.

"For the quarter, we were pleased with our financial performance as we delivered stronger-than-expected orders, revenue in line with our expectations, and continued year-over-year improvements in profitability and cash flow," he said.

Now what 

Like most companies right now, Diebold's management didn't provide any financial guidance for the second quarter. But Schmid did say in the company's press release that the company is "leveraging the operational rigor developed over the past two years to implement incremental cost-savings actions that enable the company to target break-even free cash flow for the full year -- even under difficult scenarios." 

He added that the company has taken steps to strengthen its liquidity during the current crisis and is confident that Diebold Nixdorf is "well positioned to persevere in this environment and emerge as a stronger company."