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What: Shares of 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) traded significantly higher after it reported its third-quarter earnings Wednesday morning. During Wednesday's trading session, 3D Systems' stock traded in a wide range, but it finished the day about 10% higher.

So what: 3D Systems' third-quarter revenue declined by 9% year over year to $151.6 million, translating to an earnings loss of $0.29 per share, or a gain of $0.01 per share on an adjusted basis.

Although the headline results fell below the Wall Street consensus calling for 3D Systems to generate $172.2 million in revenue and earn $0.02 per share on an adjusted basis, investors seemed to be relieved -- perhaps because there weren't any new negative developments to report. Rather, the weakness was primarily driven by already known factors like a softened capital spending environment that's prompted customers to pause on placing new 3D printing orders.

Additionally, it's noteworthy that 3D Systems remains one of the most heavily shorted stocks on the market, as 30% of its shares outstanding are being sold short. It's possible that in the absence of a new major negative development, the large concentration of bears sparked a short covering rally.

Meanwhile, Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) also reported its third-quarter earnings Wednesday morning, which reflected ongoing macroeconomic weakness across the entire industry. Stratasys continues to maintain that there's an oversupply of 3D printing capacity in the marketplace and that it's causing customers to delay new 3D printing purchases. This continued uncertainty and likely ongoing underperformance has prompted Stratasys to write off a staggering $910 million of goodwill and intangible assets it's accumulated from acquisitions. Prior to the writedown, Stratasys held nearly $1.7 billion in goodwill and tangible assets on its balance sheet.

Now what: With 3D Systems' former CEO Avi Reichental out of the picture, management announced that it's conducting a comprehensive review of the company's current organization and will take necessary actions to improve its long-term operating performance, including reducing head count, lowering capital expenditures, and improving operational efficiency.

In other words, 3D Systems investors should probably brace themselves for lots of changes ahead.

Steve Heller owns shares of 3D Systems. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems and Stratasys. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. 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.