Stratasys Earnings Report Lacks Transparency

Surprise! Another 3-D printing company earnings report has brought on another round of investor confusion. This time, Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS  ) has been named the culprit as a result of completing its merger with Israeli 3-D printing company Objet during the reporting period. Yesterday, I wrote about how Stratasys had potentially strong organic growth, well above the 3-D printing competition, as long as the non pro forma sales figures in the report represented only its legacy business. We weren't sure if this was the case so we reached out to the company for further clarification. Now that we have the facts, it turns out things aren't much clearer.

How to smash estimates
When Stratasys reported revenues of $71.2 million versus the consensus estimate of $59.4 million, it looked like a smash hit of a quarter. As Stratasys rallied off the headline, 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD  ) sold off as if it was losing out big-time to one of its largest competitors. The reality of the situation is that these results not only accounted for Stratasys' legacy business, it also accounted for Objet's results since the completion of its merger on Dec. 3 of last year. In other words, these results are not in any way comparable to the past.

Them's the breaks
During the conference call, an analyst from William Blair was hoping to get to some color on how Stratasys' legacy business was faring, because, you know, his model wasn't adjusted for this inclusion. Unfortunately, Stratasys was unwilling give a final breakout of its legacy business because "the merger combined certain functions of the two companies." Going forward, I can totally relate to Stratasys's desire to be viewed as one entity, but I cannot understand why in this one instance it was reluctant to give comparable data. This is especially puzzling since one of its largest competitors, 3D Systems provides a core organic growth rate, as well as an acquisition driven growth rate. Perhaps the company wasn't pleased with the results?

A new basis
The only thing Stratasys' earnings report will be good for is providing a basis of comparison against future earnings results. If I were a Stratasys shareholder, I would find it difficult to make any judgments related to how the company is actually faring. On that note, here's to a less confusing earnings report next quarter!

3D Systems is at the leading edge of a disruptive technological revolution, with the broadest portfolio of 3-D printers in the industry. However, despite years of earnings growth, 3D Systems' share price has risen even faster, and today the company sports a dizzying valuation. To help investors decide whether the future of additive manufacturing is bright enough to justify the lofty price tag on the company's shares, The Motley Fool has compiled a premium research report on whether 3D Systems is a buy right now. In our report, we take a close look at 3D Systems' opportunities, risks, and critical factors for growth. You'll also find reasons to buy or sell, and receive a full year of analyst updates with the report. To start reading, simply click here now for instant access.


Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2013, at 5:11 AM, tossemail wrote:

    Stratasys was *required* to include Objet numbers from the time of the merger on. They did just what they had to do - and the fact that you didn't realize or understand that indicates that you simply do not understand basic accounting principles. Stratasys also provided various pro forma numbers for comparison purposes. The fact that you didn't appreciate that suggests that you either didn't bother to read the earnings release carefully or you read it carefully but still didn't understand it.

    Why are you writing articles when you do not appear to have the background, the time, or the intellect to form a basic understanding of the subject upon on which you write??

  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2013, at 9:44 AM, wolfhounds wrote:

    In my opinion, more lack of transparency exists in reporting non GAAP earnings. On a GAAP basis SSYS reported a loss doe to $108m stock compensation. That represents 150% of revenue and a large future dilution. At it's current P/E it can't afford anything less than monumental growth before a analyst with a brain figures this out.

Add your comment.

DocumentId: 2294750, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 7/26/2014 1:34:02 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement