Shares of Flow International fell nearly 9 percent Friday after the company warned of disappointing financial results, announced cost cuts and said it hired an investment bank to explore a potential sale.
The Kent-based maker of industrial waterjet cutting systems, whose machines are used to cut everything from composite panels for Boeing and Airbus jets to baby carrots and poultry, said it expects to break even for the quarter ended April 30 on revenue of approximately $58 million.
Analysts had predicted a profit of 19 cents per share, according to Bloomberg.
The prior year’s comparable quarter yielded revenue of $63.4 million and operating income of $2.4 million.
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Friday’s disappointing news pushed Flow stock down 36 cents, or 8.9 percent, to $3.67.
In March, a Florida-based hedge-fund manager that has owned Flow shares for 12 years blasted the company’s management in a letter decrying its “abysmal performance” and demanding the board put it up for sale.
Otter Creek Partners, which owned 5.1 percent of Flow at the time, complained that CEO Charles Brown had led a “strange and quixotic journey to reframe the company as some sort of 1990s hot technology-growth entity.”
Flow said Friday it has hired UBS Investment Bank to advise it on ways to increase shareholder value, which could include a sale.
CEO Brown also said the company has already begun to “reduce our operating costs by approximately 10 percent, or $9 million on an annualized basis.”
Flow did not disclose details of the cost-cutting plan, which will require a $1 million restructuring charge in the current quarter. It said final results for the April quarter, the final one in its 2013 fiscal year, are due by July 15.
The company said it expects operating income of about $2 million in the current quarter, the first in its 2014 fiscal year.