Nautilus Shares Surge on Upbeat Forecast

Nautilus raises first-quarter outlook as stay-at-home rules drive exercise equipment orders.
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Shares of Nautilus, Inc.  (NLS) - Get Report, surged in after-hours trading after the company offered an upbeat forecast for its first-quarter results, saying sales of its exercise equipment are surging because so many people are being forced to stay at home to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The company said preliminary net sales for the first quarter were $94 million, up 11% from the year-earlier period, the first time quarterly sales have risen since the third quarter of 2018. The increase was driven by sales of its Bowflex and Schwinn brands.

“COVID-19 has created a heightened need for home-fitness products and our company was able to meet customer demand well, through both the direct and retail segments,” said Jim Barr, CEO, in a statement.

He cautioned, however, that “short-term, it may remain a significant challenge to fully match the unplanned surge in demand with supply.”

The company said a “significant volume” of its products are made in China. “Most workers in the factories the company utilizes have returned to work. Further, ground transportation to the ports, and shipping capabilities from China are improving daily,” according to the statement.

Shares of Nautilus rose 99 cents, or 41%, to $3.39 in after-hours action. 

In the broader markets, U.S. stocks rose sharply Wednesday on hopes the number of deaths from COVID-19 will not be as high as previously projected and on signs the U.S. government is beginning planning about how and when the economy can begin to reopen. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 780 points to end at 23,434, its highest close in nearly a month.