Swedish metal 3-D printing player Arcam (NASDAQOTH: AMAVF) recently reported its fourth-quarter-earnings results and closed out its 2013 year. During the quarter, revenue edged up 7% year over year and profitability fell 44% as the company ramped up its R&D efforts to solidify its long-term positioning. Looking at the whole year, Arcam grew its sales by 43% largely because it delivered 25 of its electron beam melting systems, an increase of 66% year over year, while profitability remained essentially flat.

Because the company's sales cycle tends to last anywhere between six to 18 months, investors looking at Arcam will be better served to look more at its full-year results instead of its quarterly results. This will help smooth out results and give you a better picture of how the business is faring.

In the following video segment, 3-D printing analyst Steve Heller sits down with the head of Motley Fool's industrials sector, Blake Bos, to discuss the results in more detail and ask how investors should think about Arcam's positioning going forward. (The relevant segment can be found between 0:00 and 2:25.)