3D Printer Maker Stratasys’s Profits Curbed by Higher Spending

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Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) reported first-quarter 2014 results before markets opened Friday. The 3D printer maker reported adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.40 and $151.2 million in non-GAAP revenues. In the same period a year ago, Stratasys reported EPS of $0.43 on revenue of $98.2 million. First-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.40 and $143.31 million in revenue.

The company did not provide updated guidance but did say that it expects to meet its current financial projections. At the end of the fourth quarter, Stratasys guided full-year 2014 revenues at $660 million to $680 million and adjusted diluted EPS at $2.15 to $2.25.

The consensus estimates for the full year call for EPS of $2.21 on revenues of $674.81 million. Analysts expect second-quarter EPS of $0.47 on revenues of $154.56 million.

Adjusted revenues rose 54% in the quarter, while adjusted EPS was lower year-over-year. The company attributed the EPS drop to a higher share count from a secondary offering of about 5.2 million shares and the issuance of 3.9 million new shares in connection with its acquisition of MakerBot in August 2013.

Also as project, operating expenses rose significantly as the company invested in sales and marketing programs for its MakerBot products and raised its R&D expenditures to $15.3 million in the quarter.

Stratasys sold 8,802 3D printing and additive manufacturing systems in the first quarter and now has a pro forma total of 84,620 systems in use worldwide.

The company’s CEO said:

The rapid adoption of our higher-margin products and services remained impressive during the first quarter, which helped drive strong organic revenue growth of 33% during the period and contributed to a significant increase in our gross margin over last year. In addition, MakerBot products revenue remained strong, and we continued to invest aggressively in sales, marketing and product development initiatives that we believe will drive incremental growth over the coming periods.

Equity futures are in the red this morning, and Stratasys did not post a blow-out quarter, only a decent one. The combination is likely to weigh on the share price, depending on what the company has to say during its conference call.

Shares of Stratasys were down about 0.5% in premarket trading Friday, at $93.90 in a 52-week range of $74.54 to $138.10. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $143.25 before the results were announced.

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