Sales for the quarter was $74.6 million, an improvement of $27.5 million over the first quarter of 2017. Sales to the North American market were amongst the best first quarters in Company history, with both the Canadian and U.S. markets seeing improvements over the past few years. Sales to Eastern Europe have remained steady.
|1st quarter ending December 31, 2017||Year ago|
|Net loss (millions)||($5.8)||($2.4)|
|Net loss / share||($0.23)||($0.10)|
|Shares issued (millions)||25.0||25.0|
The net loss for the quarter was $5.8 million, compared with the loss of $2.4 million for the same period in 2017. The Company had significant improvements in income from operations due to increased margin, which was offset by increases in interest and research and development expenses, as well as a $5.8 million write down in tax assets due to a major reduction of the corporate tax rate in the United States. While this write down has created a non-cash loss in the quarter, the Company expects the rate reduction to be beneficial in future periods as the tax payments in profitable periods will be reduced. The prior year also saw a large gain on sale of surplus assets which was not repeated in the current year.
Sales for 2018 are expected to remain flat or decrease slightly over 2017 results. While the demand for agricultural equipment is still slowly improving, there is still dealer inventory of Tier 4i tractors and excess used equipment to be cleared out. Profit margins are expected to decrease slightly as a result.