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Why Stratasys, Ltd. Shares Plunged

By Steve Symington – Jan 14, 2014 at 1:54PM

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Is Stratasys' fall meaningful? Or just another movement?

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Stratasys, Ltd. (SSYS -1.21%) plunged more than 10% Monday morning after the additive-manufacturing specialist released mixed fiscal 2014 guidance.

So what: For the year ending Dec. 31, 2014, Stratasys expects revenue to be in the range of $660 million-$680 million, which exceeds analysts' expectations for 2014 sales of $656.83 million.

Despite strong sales, however, Stratasys also projects that it will translate to non-GAAP net income of $2.15-$2.25 per diluted share, or well below average estimates for 2014 earnings of $2.33 per share. 

Specifically, Stratasys explained its lower profitability will stem from a combination of higher operating expenses and higher capital expenditures going forward. In addition, though margins in Stratasys' core business are set to expand this year, they'll be offset by lower operating margins maintained by its newly acquired, fast-growing MakerBot subsidiary.

Now what: Even so, it's important to remember where Stratasys' money is being used. And in this case, I think investors should be more than pleased. Why?

In short, Stratasys says that it plans to increase investments not only in sales and marketing to drive future market adoption but also in research and development to drive innovative new products -- the latter of which is especially important for a cutting-edge company like Stratasys to ensure it stays ahead of the technology curve.

What's more, Stratasys also also noted while its core organic sales are set to grow at least 25% over 2013, MakerBot revenue will increase even faster. And while we already know that growth will come at the expense of overall margins -- which the company says will remain steady over 2013 levels -- keep in mind Stratasys also noted the acquisition is on track to be accretive by the end of the year.

All things considered, that's why I'm convinced today's pullback represents a fantastic buying opportunity for patient, long-term Stratasys investors.

Fool contributor Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Stratasys. The Motley Fool owns shares of Stratasys. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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