What happened

Shares of National Instruments (NATI) fell about 10% on Friday after the testing and automated measurement systems reported underwhelming first-quarter results. The company remains optimistic about its future, but with the broader market selling off during the session, investors were not in a forgiving mood.

So what

National Instruments reported quarterly earnings per share of $0.32, a penny ahead of estimates, on revenue that came in about $7 million shy of expectations at $335.2 million. The company also said it expects second-quarter earnings of between $0.21 and $0.35 per share on revenue of between $305 million and $335 million, also short of consensus expectations for $0.37 per share in earnings on revenue of $350 million.

A person facing uncertainty.

Image source: Getty Images.

Chief Financial Officer Karen Rapp in a statement noted that the revenue total was a record for the first quarter, but said the company ran into supply and shipping constraints.

"Due to broad supply chain constraints across our industry, not all orders were shipped within the quarter resulting in an increase in backlog," Rapp said. "We remain confident in our ability to ultimately ship our backlog and optimistic in the continued strength in our business as we continue to align resources to higher growth opportunities in pursuit of our long-term financial model."

Now what

The falloff continues a familiar theme for National Instruments shareholders. The stock is up about 5% over the past three years, well below the S&P 500's 56% gain over the same period.

The pitch for National Instruments remains intriguing: The company makes tools and software that enable scientists, engineers, and researchers to do their jobs more efficiently. But that promise is yet to translate into stock results. CEO Eric Starkloff post-earnings said that momentum is building. Investors will hope to see the fruits of that momentum in the quarters to come.