What happened

Shares of 3D printer maker The ExOne Company (XONE) roared out of the gate Monday and are up 17.8% in 10:15 a.m. EST trading after the company announced a partnership with Canadian partner Rapidia to produce and market a "complete metal 3D printing system" known as "the ExOne Metal Designlab and X1F advanced furnace."

According to the company, this new technology operates "with the ease of an entry-level plastic printer," but permits a user to print items using "an innovative water-based paste containing metal or ceramic powders," then put them "directly into a furnace" so as to produce finished parts almost immediately -- instead of after the three to five days required by competing metal-printing systems.  

Oh, and ExOne also preannounced Q4 earnings.  

Green arrow trending up over the numerals 2021

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

For fiscal Q4 2020, ExOne says it will report revenue of between $17 million and $17.5 million -- less than it generated in the previous year's Q4, but more than the $16.7 million that analysts had forecast for it. Full-year fiscal 2020 sales are believed to have grown 10% to 12% in comparison to fiscal 2019, thus probably more than the 10% that analysts had been expecting.  

The company did not say how much it earned on this revenue (or, indeed, if it earned anything at all), noting only that its gross profit margin (before operating costs, interest, taxes, and so on) was between 21% and 22%.

Now what

Regardless, investors seem optimistic about ExOne, and in particular about its growth prospects. Management said that, largely because of its "refreshed and expanded product lineup" -- see the bit about the new metal-printing system up above -- ExOne anticipates growing sales between 15% and 25% in fiscal 2021.

Or, in other words, ExOne might grow twice as fast this year as it grew in Q4 2020. No wonder investors are excited.