With its release of new results Thursday, Stratasys Ltd. executives raised their revenue outlook for a second quarter in a row, but they didn't surprise investors as much this time.
The 3-D printer manufacturer's shares finished the day up 3.3 percent, setting a record close at $118.15. They traded as much as 8.6 percent higher, above $124, early in the day. But even that couldn't match the 14 percent jump Stratasys shares made when it last reported results in early August.
Instead, the market's reaction to the company's latest performance is a sign that expectations are rising for Eden Prairie-based Stratasys and its peers.
3-D printers make physical objects by layering deposits of sprayed material. Like many high-tech products, they were aimed chiefly for industrial use at first, but they have moved into the consumer market in more recent years.
With two major deals in the past year, Stratasys moved in both directions of the market. It merged with Objet Ltd., a Rehovot, Israel, producer of high-end 3-D printers for industry. And it bought MakerBot, a New York-based manufacturer of low-end consumer and small-business 3-D printers.
In a conference call after the results were announced, Stratasys Chief Executive David Reis' comments about research and development spending were emblematic of the firm's bullishness.
"I think we are truly lucky that much of this industry is good for 25 years," Reis said. "There are so many opportunities that we wish we could spend more on research and development."
Before the market opened Thursday, Stratasys reported adjusted earnings of 45 cents a share, compared with the 42 cents analysts were expecting. Adjusted revenue was $126.1 million, higher than the expected $117.1 million.
Not counting one-time gains and losses, the company reported a net loss of $6.6 million, or 16 cents a share, on revenue of $125.6 million.
"Organic revenue growth accelerated in the third quarter as synergies resulting from the merger between Stratasys and Objet continued to develop," Reis said. "We are especially pleased by the contribution made by MakerBot, which added $11.6 million in revenue during the period."
In raising its guidance for the rest of the year, Stratasys said revenue is expected to be $470 million to $490 million, up from the previous guidance range of $455 million to $480 million.
"With the completion of the MakerBot acquisition in the third quarter, we believe Stratasys is now the clear leader in the desktop 3-D printer category, one of the fastest growing segments within our industry," Reis said.