August 8, 2014 / 1:05 AM / 5 years ago

3D printer maker Stratasys raises forecast on strong demand

(Reuters) - Stratasys Ltd reported better-than-expected quarterly results and raised its profit and revenue forecast for the year, driven by strong demand for its 3D printers.

The company’s shares jumped as much as 22 percent, putting them among the top percentage gainers on the Nasdaq and helping boost the stock of other 3D printer makers.

Stratasys, which traditionally sold industrial printers worth $15,000–$750,000, bought MakerBot last year to offer printers starting at just over $1000.

Besides being able to cater to the rising demand for 3D printers at more affordable rates, the acquisition has also helped boost sales of Stratasys’ larger, more expensive printers, Janney Montgomery Scott analyst John Baliotti said.

Customers first buy a MakerBot, use it till they realize they need something bigger or faster and then end up buying a more advanced printer, which generates higher margins for Stratasys, Baliotti said.

MakerBot’s revenue doubled in the second quarter ended June 30 and its contribution to Stratasys total sales rose to 19 percent from 14 percent in the first quarter.

However, Stratasys is not counting only on acquisitions to boost revenue.

The company said on Thursday it now expects 2014 organic revenue to rise at least 30 percent from its previous forecast of at least 25 percent.

Stratasys bought two more companies in the quarter, both aimed at bolstering its services rather than printer business, and the company expects the deals to add modestly to profit.

The company raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast to $2.25-$2.35 per share from $2.15-$2.25. It raised its revenue forecast to $750 million-$770 million from $660 million-$680 million.

The sale of its high-margin printers helped dilute the effect of higher expanses in the second quarter, mainly related to introducing MakerBot in Europe and general marketing costs.

Net loss attributable to Stratasys narrowed to $173,000 from $2.8 million. Excluding items, it earned 55 cents per share.

Net revenue soared 68 percent to $178.5 million. About 14 percent of that is from its services business.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 45 cents per share on revenue of $156.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Stratasys’ stock was up 18 percent at $116.5 in late afternoon trading. Shares of Voxeljet AG, Exone Co and 3D Systems Corp were up between 2 percent and 7 percent.

Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Savio D'Souza

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