What: Shares of outdoor recreational product manufacturer Johnson Outdoors (NASDAQ:JOUT) plunged by 24% in May, according to S&P Capital IQ data. That slump put the stock at a new 52-week low, and down roughly 18% in the last year.
So what: The biggest news from the company last month was its fiscal-second-quarter earnings release that showed a significant, negative swing in profits. Sure, sales grew by a solid 7% thanks to strong demand for products including Minn Kota boat motors and Jetboil camping stoves. However, expenses rose by a much steeper 19% as Johnson Outdoors booked higher legal costs, promotional spending, and warranty expenses.
Consequently, net income dove by a brutal 49% to $3.6 million. That translated into just $0.36 per share of earnings, well below the $0.83 per share that Wall Street analysts were expecting. The profitability drop also pushed Johnson Outdoors into the red for the year to date. The company has lost $0.06 per share through the first six months of its 2015 fiscal year, compared to a $0.30-per-share gain over the same period of 2014.
Now what: The company's core business remains strong. Marine electronic sales rose 9% last quarter and the watercraft and outdoor equipment divisions also posted solid gains. In fact, the only product line that slipped was diving, and that had more to do with foreign currency swings than softer demand.
Meanwhile, the biggest portion of last quarter's jump in operating costs, legal costs tied to protecting a sonar patent, will likely moderate in the future. "Next quarter we expect legal expenses to be significantly lower," Chief Financial Officer Dave Johnson told investors in a conference call. Still, investors shouldn't hold out for significant profits in 2015. Wall Street expects Johnson Outdoors to post another loss in the third quarter, with EPS of -$0.02.