With help from 3-D printing acquisitions, Proto Labs reported third-quarter results Thursday that handily beat Wall Street expectations.
Still officials predicted economic headwinds for the fourth quarter and forecast conservative earnings to come.
The company’s stock lost 9 percent of value to close at $46.85 on Thursday.
Company officials said they were not put off and were very pleased with results from the most recent quarter that ended Sept. 30.
“We are disappointed in the decline of the stock price in the short term but remain confident that we will deliver shareholder value in the long term,” said John Way, Proto Labs’ chief financial officer.
The Maple Plain-based prototype and short-run manufacturer saw third-quarter sales surge by 15 percent to $78.2 million amid a boost in injection-molding orders plus strong results from the Alphaform 3-D printing company it purchased in December.
Excluding one-time compensation, taxes and special charges for moves and facilities closures, adjusted third- quarter earnings were $13.5 million, or 51 cents per share. That beat expectations. On average, analysts had expected profits of 44 cents a share and sales of $75 million for the quarter. Including one-time items, net income slid 3 percent to $12 million, or 45 cents per share.
For the fourth quarter, company officials forecast earnings of 36 cents to 44 cents a share and sales of $70 million to $75 million. That guidance was less than what Wall Street expected. Analysts had projected fourth-quarter sales would reach $80 million with a profit of 49 cents a share.
During a conference call with analysts, CEO Vicki Holt called the current economic-environment “challenging” and said Proto Labs is positioning itself for when economic conditions improve.
“There is uncertainty in the market right now due to the election in the United States and Brexit in Europe, and that uncertainty is impacting the economy,” she said. “Our business is not immune to that impact.”
Holt said she was pleased with the third-quarter results.