Struggling Imation Corp. reported a $14 million net loss for the first quarter Wednesday as revenue fell 13 percent amid lower demand for consumer storage media and negative impact from the sky-high U.S. dollar.
Results from continuing operations included a $1.2 million charge, mostly related to employee severance pay, Chief Financial Officer Scott Robinson told analysts during an early-morning conference call Wednesday.
Sales were $155 million for the quarter, while the loss per share was 35 cents.
While not great, the results were better than the $17.5 million lost for the same quarter a year ago and better than analysts expected this time around.
On average, analysts anticipated a loss of 46 cents a share and revenue of just $150 million.
Imation CEO Mark Lucas told analysts that he was "highly encouraged" with Imation's efforts to transform itself into a global leader in data storage and security.
He praised the 20 percent climb of its Nexsan and Iron Key divisions and the company's investments in its tiered storage and security solutions segment. He noted that the long struggling firm is seeing new customers for select products such as its "Windows To Go" and its "PC on a stick." He was also encouraged by new secure-data storage contracts with the U.S. government and several Japanese customers.
While officials of the former 3M spin off were pleased that losses were less steep than in the past, Wednesday's report has not mollified all investors.
The stock of Oakdale-based Imation on Wednesday fell 40 cents, or 9.8 percent, to $3.70. That price is far below the $6.20 price from March 2014.
Lucas reiterated Wednesday that the company is exploring all options to maximize shareholder value. It hired an investment banking firm to assist in finding possible buyers and has put its headquarters real estate up for sale. Officials announced Wednesday that another property owned by Imation appears to have a buyer, but did not elaborate.
Despite such efforts, Imation has been in the cross hairs of activist investors such as the Clinton Group, a New York investment firm with $1.5 billion in assets under management.
In March, Clinton filed a proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging Imation mismanagement and outlining why it wants to nominate three candidates to the data storage company's board and slash executive and director pay.
The filing seeks the support of shareholders of Oakdale-based Imation against the wishes of Imation's management. Shareholders will get to vote on the issue on May 20, when Imation holds its annual meeting.