Proto Labs (NYSE: PRLB), which provides technology-enabled, quick-turn, acceptable accomplishment and 3D press services, is slated to address its fourth-quarter 2017 balance afore the bazaar opens on Thursday, Feb. 8.
Proto Labs has a lot to prove back it reports. In 2017, its banal — which I alleged the best 3D press banal to buy for 2017 early aftermost year — soared 101%, crushing the S&P 500’s 21.8% return, as able-bodied as those of 3D press players 3D Systems and Stratasys. Shares are continuing their able achievement in 2018, as they’re up 9%, against the broader market’s 6.1% return, as of this autograph on Jan. 22.
Operator apparent at a CNC metal-working machine.
Image source: Proto Labs.
Here are Proto Labs’ year-ago results, its fourth-quarter guidance, and Wall Street’s accord estimates to use as benchmarks.
Q4 2016 Result
Proto Labs’ Q4 2017 Guidance
Analysts’ Q4 2017 Consensus
Analysts’ Projected Year-Over-Year Change
$85 actor to $90 million
Adjusted balance per allotment (EPS)
$0.52 to $0.58
Data sources: Proto Labs and Yahoo! Finance.
Proto Labs has solid drive activity into earnings. Last quarter, it calmly exhausted Wall Street’s expectations on both the top and basal lines. In the second quarter, it about met analysts’ accord estimates, while it breezed by them for both acquirement and balance in the aboriginal quarter.
In accession to the banderole numbers, here’s what to focus in Proto Labs’ report.
Proto Labs’ administration accustomed the afterward three capital goals for 2017, so investors should abide to use them to barometer the company’s performance:
If you subscribe to accompanist Meatloaf’s acceptance that “two out of three ain’t bad,” again Proto Labs’ advance on these goals ain’t bad. As to No. 1, administration said aftermost division that it fabricated solid advance on convalescent its sales and business efforts. The company’s cardinal of different artefact developers served added 18.5% year over year, while the boilerplate acquirement per artefact developer added about 2.5% sequentially.
Proto Labs has been authoritative acceptable advance on the additional goal, and investors should apprehend an amend on the appointment alarm apropos new services. The aggregation has been falling abbreviate on ambition No. 3. In the third quarter, gross allowance beneath to 56% from 57.2% in the year-ago period, and additionally ticked bottomward hardly sequentially from 56.5% in the additional quarter. The addition of new articles was one of the two affidavit administration cited for the decline, with the added agency as follows.
The almost new 3D press business in Europe continues to accept a abrogating appulse on gross margin. Proto Labs acquired this business in October 2015, back it bought the German account bureau Alphaform, which provides bang abstraction and 3D press services. Management’s aboriginal move afterwards accepting Alphaform was to get rid of barren business. Its focus now is bringing the advantage of its 3D press business in Europe afterpiece to the akin the aggregation enjoys in the United States.
The additional key affair with the European operation is the apathetic advance of the artificial bang abstraction business. Aftermost quarter, Proto Labs’ all-embracing bang abstraction articulation — the better of its three businesses — grew acquirement 6.5% year over year, authoritative it the slowest growing of the company’s segments, which additionally accommodate metal CNC machining business and 3D printing. It was an advance over the additional quarter’s 4.5% year-over-year growth, but it’s still not acceptable growth.
Investors should apprehend some blush on the balance alarm about the company’s advance in acclamation these issues.
Added From The Motley Fool
Beth McKenna has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Proto Labs. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems and Stratasys. The Motley Fool has a acknowledgment policy.
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