Why Analyst Still Thinks 3D Systems Is Bottoming

3D printing
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In a note to investors Tuesday morning, Oppenheimer analyst Holden Lewis commented following Monday’s earnings release from 3D Systems Inc. (NYSE: DDD) that “Pieces are in place for 2015 acceleration.” Lewis maintained his Outperform rating and $57 per share price target.

The company posted adjusted earnings per share of $0.18 for the third quarter, a penny better than estimates. Revenues and EBIT margins were reported in line with expectations, and the company reiterated guidance it had given in a preliminary release on October 22.

Lewis believes that the company’s weak organic growth has bottomed out and that improvements in consumer product shipments will continue. Recent investments in mergers and acquisitions “highlight effective resource allocation” and should “mitigate [Hewlett-Packard’s] potential impact” on the 3D printer market.

Operating expenses are “flattening, and as consumer and metal printer volumes improve, operating leverage and incremental margins should become more pronounced.”

Those are the pieces that Lewis sees as having fallen into place and setting the table for accelerating growth.

3D Systems maintained its full-year 2014 revenue guidance of $650 million to $690 million and adjusted earnings per share guidance of $0.70 to $0.80. Costs as a percentage of sales are expected to be flat to down, which was not quite as much of an improvement as Lewis expected. Given that, and the indication from competitor Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) that it expected to keep spending high in order to maintain growth, Oppenheimer lowered its adjusted earnings per share estimates somewhat for 2015 and 2016, to $1.15 and $1.65, respectively.

Investors have not reacted as well to 3D Systems’ earnings results. The shares were trading down about 3% on Tuesday morning, at $35.16 in a 52-week range of $33.80 to $97.28

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