Over the last two quarters, Stratasys' (NASDAQ:SSYS) MakerBot unit has significantly underperformed management's expectations to the point that the company had to take two successive goodwill impairment charges against quarterly earnings.
In total, Stratasys has written off $296 million of the $403 million the company paid for MakerBot in mid-2013. Clearly, management significantly overpaid for an acquisition that simply didn't live up to its lofty growth expectations.
In the following video, 3D printing specialist Steve Heller interviews Jonathan Jaglom, MakerBot's current CEO, about the unit's strategy to drive improved performance and create shareholder value in the future.
A full transcript follows the video.
Editor's note: This segment was taped prior to Stratasys releasing its first-quarter earnings, which contained a second MakerBot write down for $194 million.
Steve Heller: Let's switch gears here for a moment. Most recent fourth quarter earnings result, Stratasys announced that MakerBot was taking a goodwill impairment charge, to the tune of $102 million.
MakerBot's revenue growth was up 7-8% year over year, and the previous quarter it was up about 80%, so growth stalled. There was a little bit of execution issues there.
You're the CEO. You're at the helm now. What is the strategy, going forward, to driving and creating additional shareholder value from the investment that Stratasys initially made into MakerBot?
Jonathan Jaglom: You raised a few of them. One of them is to think how we can do some synergy with Stratasys. Stratasys is a global company. It has presence all over the world, much more than MakerBot does.
I'll give you an example in Asia. We have 12 offices in Asia today. We have almost 300 staff in Asia today. MakerBot does not, so if we can tap into that infrastructure and enjoy that, we can definitely increase our numbers there, I believe.
Also, into our install base; if we can find ways to tap into the install base mutually, meaning into the Stratasys install base or MakerBot, and find intelligent ways to leverage off that install base and offer our customers better solutions or additional solutions -- I think all those things will tap in and generate the expectation set, and I'm very excited about that.
Heller: Are there any systems in place right now to improve execution around MakerBot?
Jaglom: Systems? What do you mean?
Heller: Systems around, "How do we improve execution?" Maybe quality assurance -- I know there were some issues with the Smart Extruder, and things of that nature. I was wondering if you could give me any insight into that.
Jaglom: Yes, that's another great element of the equation. We're working closely with Stratasys in different departments, and working hand-in-hand to improve or leverage knowledge in different areas so as to ultimately bring products to market faster and better. Definitely, that's happening as well.
All these things are now kicking in. I've been at Stratasys for 10 years. I know Stratasys really well, and I definitely will enjoy tapping into those different spaces within Stratasys for the benefit of MakerBot.
Having said that, MakerBot has something very unique in it, very special, that we want to preserve. MakerBot has done things that were never done before within the desktop space, and we must preserve that as well. We want to tap into the Stratasys ecosystem, but we also want to preserve the MakerBot DNA.
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