Stock Market Today: Stratasys’ Spending Spree and Hilton’s Profit Jump

After just barely missing a record close yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) has one more shot this week at breaking into positive territory for the year. The Dow was down a modest 27 points in pre-market trading, suggesting a flat start to the stock market today. Global indexes won't provide much of a lift: European stocks were lower by 0.7% as of 7:30 a.m. EDT.

With earnings season winding down and not much on the economic calendar for today, volume could be light. However, Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS  ) and Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT  ) could see heavy trading after delivering their quarterly numbers this morning.

Market movers

Stratasys is still growing like a weed. The 3-D printing company said today that revenue spiked higher by 54% year over year to reach $151 million in its first quarter. That beat analysts' expectation of a more modest 46% sales gain. Organic revenue was also up 33%, which is a slightly lower pace than the prior quarter's result. Still, profitability improved nicely as Stratasys sold more of its high-margin printing products: gross margin climbed to a record 60.9%, powering earnings to $0.40 a share. That trend isn't likely to continue in the near future, though. The company warned in a press release that expenses should "expand materially" in 2014 thanks to ramped-up spending on marketing and new product development. Stratasys affirmed its full-year profit outlook of $2.20 a share. The stock was down 5.6% in pre-market trading.

Hilton Worldwide today booked a year-over-year tripling of adjusted profit to $0.13 a share as revenue improved by 4% to hit $2.4 billion in the first quarter. Both of those top and bottom-line figures were above Wall Street's expectations. Hilton's per-room average revenue jumped by a solid 6.6% as occupancy rates improved across all of its hotel properties. In a press release accompanying the results, CEO Christopher Nassetta highlighted the company's huge pipeline of new rooms under construction across the globe, saying the 101,000 additional units "will further grow our system." Backing up that claim, Hilton raised its full-year outlook, now projecting adjusted earnings of as much as $2.5 billion, up from the prior outlook of roughly $2.4 billion. The stock was up 3.1% in pre-market trading.

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