What happened 

Shares of 3D printing company Stratasys Ltd (SSYS -5.18%) jumped 28.5% in August, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, after reporting better than expected earnings. Could this finally be the turnaround that 3D printing investors have been looking for the last few years? 

So what 

Second-quarter revenue was essentially flat at $170.2 million and non-GAAP net income was $8.1 million, or $0.15 per share, down from $9.2 million a year ago. While the top and bottom line both fell, investors were expecting even worse results with Wall Street setting expectations for $0.09 per share in earnings

Person printing a 3D part.

Image source: Getty Images.

What's even more striking is that the move in shares occurred while management guided for $25 million to $41 million in GAAP net losses for the full year. Non-GAAP earnings are expected to be $0.30 to $0.50 per share, but that figure pulls out very real costs like share-based compensation and reorganization costs. 

Now what 

Investors seem to be looking for a reason to buy Stratasys shares and an earnings beat was enough to get them excited last month. But stepping back it's hard to see this as a sure sign that operations are turning around. Revenue was flat, GAAP losses are expected to continue throughout the year, and even on a non-GAAP basis shares are trading at 46 times the top end of guidance. That's hardly a value for a company that isn't growing and will keep me from buying this pop in shares.