Publicly traded molding equipment supplier Barnes Group Inc. is projecting second quarter sales drops of more than 20 percent in its industrial division, which includes some sizable business in hot runners, mold systems and controllers.
The Bristol, Conn.-based company said its first quarter sales in its industrial businesses, which also includes automation, engineered components and motion controls in addition to the plastics related units, were down 18 percent to $199.1 million.
The company's portfolio in its molding solutions unit includes Synventive, Thermoplay and Männer on the hot runner side, and Gammaflux, Priamus, Foboha and Männer in mold and control systems.
During an April 24 call with analysts, Chief Financial Officer Christopher Stephens said the company expects a corporate-wide sales drop of 30 percent for the second quarter, led by its aerospace business, which is projecting a decline "in the high 30s from an organic sales perspective."
The industrial business, by contrast, expects to not fare as badly and is expecting a drop "in the low 20s," he said.
But he noted that there are signs that the industrial markets could improve in the third and fourth quarters.
"In terms of the outlook for Q3 and Q4 what we are seeing right now on our industrial side is the fact that things are coming back online. Some of our customers are coming back online, albeit at reduced levels," he said.
"You're seeing that China in particular, we saw starting to pick up after a very hard hit Q1. We're expecting that to continue into Q2," he said, noting that customers in Europe were also starting to come back online.
Officially, though, Barnes in early April withdrew any full-year 2020 forecasting because of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, and Stephens referred to that in his comments, even as he told analysts they see some signs of improvement.
"As things start to come back online and production starts to ramp back up, albeit great uncertainty to what levels we expect, that will be gradual improvement sequentially from quarter to quarter," he said.
In a news release, the company said its automotive, packaging and tool and die markets started 2020 with "lingering softness" and then experienced more pressure on sales as the economic impact of COVID-19 spread.
It said those three end markets are expected to recover slowly but said its medical end markets remained strong through the quarter and "are expected to remain favorable."