Nautilus expects higher sales as COVID-19 drives exercise equipment boom

(Reuters) - Nautilus Inc NLS.N on Wednesday forecast higher sales for the first quarter, as the coronavirus-driven stay-at-home boosted demand for its exercise equipment.

Shares of the company, which competes with Peloton Interactive Inc PTON.O, surged 30% in extended trading.

Nautilus said it expects first-quarter net sales to rise 11% from a year earlier to $94 million, the first increase in more than a year, as people turn to at-home exercise equipment because of restrictions on movement.

“Demand for many of our home-fitness products continues to outpace supply and we are pulling all levers to accelerate the manufacturing and delivery of key products,” Chief Executive Officer Jim Barr said. [nBwb6bh9ka]

The company said it expects its retail segment to grow 24% in the quarter as e-commerce sales and curbside pick-up facilities outweigh the impact of stores being shut.

Factory workers in China, where a significant volume of Nautilus’ products are manufactured, and the coronavirus originated, have returned to work and transportation from the country is improving, the company said.

It added it now expects earnings before interest, tax, deprecation and amortization for the quarter to be between break even and $1.5 million.

Striking a cautious note, Barr said “the coming quarters may present added challenges for all businesses as we better understand the longer-term impacts of COVID-19.”

Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni