Waters Results Hit by COVID-19

Waters Corp. (Milford, Mass.) today reported their Q1 results for FY 2020. The quarter has been adversely impacted by the Coronavirus, notably in China early in the quarter, and later in Europe, the Americas and India. Sales declined by 10% to $465m although 2% of this was due to negative currency effects, but the company acknowledged that lower demand in China was a significant factor.

The company also reported a decline in earnings per share and stated that due to the current uncertainties, full-year 2020 financial guidance was being withdrawn.

President and CEO Chris O’Connell commented, “Our business was performing well to start the year. However, the impact of COVID-19 containment measures, particularly in China, significantly affected our first quarter results.” He went on, “Looking ahead, we are focused on maintaining business continuity, and we remain confident in the long-term demand dynamics and our strong position in the markets we serve.”

Actions and measures announced to mitigate the impacts of the current pandemic include;

  • Base salary reduction of 40% for the CEO; 30% for Executive Committee members and 20% for Vice-Presidents for a 90-day period;
  • A combination of 10% salary reduction, reduced working hours and furloughs for the broader employee workforce, dependent on role and geographic location for a 90-day period;
  • Reduction of non-essential operating expenses, implementation of a company-wide hiring freeze, and adjustments to certain benefit programs.
  • Revision of capital deployment plans to better align operations and investments with the current operating environment.
  • Delayed capital expenditures and implementation of plans to reduce working capital, estimated to improve cash flow by $45m for the remainder of the year.

Read on…