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3D Systems Corporation (DDD)

Deutsche Bank dbAccess Technology Conference Call

September 12, 2013 14:40 ET

Executives

Damon Gregoire - Chief Financial Officer

Analysts

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Hi everybody. Thank you for coming. I am Sherri Scribner. I am Deutsche Bank’s supply chain analyst. And I am very pleased to have with us here today Damon Gregoire, CFO of 3D Systems. We are going to kickoff with Damon giving a little bit of an intro on to the company for those of you that are not familiar, and then I am going to launch into Q&A. I will also open up the Q&A to the audience members. So if you have some questions raise your hand and please wait for the microphone. We also have the yarn apps if you want to send in questions. I will do my best to read them to Damon and we will try to get those answered. So, Damon do you want to start with a little introduction?

Damon Gregoire - Chief Financial Officer

Sure. 3D Systems is a global leader in the content capture and creation to print company. We have all the way from design software to help design, help manage and manipulate scan and archive in quality control products. We produce and sell printers, 3D printers that produce 3D parts in seven different – using seven different print engines. The materials that go along with those, we have about 100 different performance materials ranging from plastics, acrylates, waxes, metals and composites. And we also have the services that go along with that, that help maintain and run those printers.

And additionally, we have a service bureau business, which will produce parts for people that either don’t have the printers or need help with overflow or don’t have one of the technologies that’s needed. And our price points range anywhere now from our printers on the consumer level of $1,299 all the way up to $1 million for a printer. And our consumer side is driven by an ecosystem called Cubify, which has application sharing, an app design that anybody from eight years old up can use and design with.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Okay, great. And I know in the panel we have the panel a little while earlier, you talked about the – you have a number of different technology. Can you quickly just talk about each of those and because I know some people have some technologies, some have others and you guys have lot of technology?

Damon Gregoire - Chief Financial Officer

Yes, we are the only company that has the seven different print technologies. Most other companies have one or a couple. Each one of these technologies does very well in certain applications, but can’t perform in others. So it’s very important that we do have the broad range of technologies and applications. So, the whole space and that is the manufacturing of 3D printing started with our Founder, Chuck Hull inventing stereolithography. And stereolithography is still the benchmark for the space for accuracy and repeatability and quality parts being built. It is a resin-based system that uses a laser to cure resins layer by layer. Then we have selective laser sintering, which is a powder based system using different nylon powders and others to produce parts, again in a powder bed layer by layer and these parts are used a lot in manufacturing processes, aerospace, and other automotive areas.

We then have multi jet modeling which is it’s a number of different print heads that deposit different acrylates, waxes, and materials again layer by layer to print parts. And that’s the heart of our sort of middle level professional printer line. We also have our other full color printing line, which prints in gypsums and the binder that prints is the only product out there that prints in full color. It can print up to a million colors. And the timing that’s used for design lot of the fashion houses and shoe companies and architecture used then for models and things. Then we have our film transfer imaging, which is DLP-based resin that produces, and those are the low range between $10,000 and $15,000. And then finally we have our consumer model, which is extrusion plastics.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Right. Okay, great. Thank you for that overview. Obviously, 3D printing is very hot area right now, where are we in the evolution of the market in your view and what type of growth do you think the industry can sustain?

Damon Gregoire - Chief Financial Officer

Yes, well, and the market has changed a lot. And if you’d look at it, in the last couple of years we – you’d think that the evolution has been – has moved fast. But we believe that there is still a lot of evolving and innovation that’s left to happen in the space. We believe that it’s going to continue over the next decade, couple of decades at least that it continues to grow and expand and people adopt the technologies especially as the technologies become faster, less expensive, the materials get better and have more materials characteristics that people need. But also the technology that backs it all, the technology platforms and computer software that runs have gotten easier to use, have gotten where it’s actually caught up to the technology that allows for more push – less professional user sort of friction in with it.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Okay, great. And so I think we have talked about 20% to 30% mid-20s type of growth going forward?

Damon Gregoire - Chief Financial Officer

We have been experiencing 20% to 30% organic growth. I mean our overall growth has been much higher because we have been acquiring companies.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Yes.

Damon Gregoire - Chief Financial Officer

But our organic growth has been to the 20s, last quarter was 30%. But if you look at it over quarters, it’s sort of that mid-20s.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Okay.

Damon Gregoire - Chief Financial Officer

We expect our growth to be there or above, going forward.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Great. And then what end markets and industries do you think makes the most sense and see the most benefit from 3D printing applications?

Damon Gregoire - Chief Financial Officer

I definitely see in a lot of different industries and spaces going forward and we will keep expanding. But some of the earlier adopters here have been in the medical areas, especially in dental and other medical applications. So you have liners and copings and crowns and partials. Hearing aids was one of the first ones to adopt it where it’s a full actual impart that’s made on the 3D Systems printer. And now, it’s moving into personalized medical devices for surgeries. So that area and then aerospace was the other that’s was the adopter that’s really moving along quickly now too.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Okay. And you mentioned fashion houses and architectural?

Damon Gregoire - Chief Financial Officer

Yes, absolutely for those in concept design, I mean the whole industry really started with prototyping and concept design, but we have moved so far beyond that, still part of it, it’s an important part. But it’s moved so far beyond that down to the consumer level, but really into the production level specifically.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Yes, and then thinking about the different technologies, you have the seven technologies, different types of technologies. How do you differentiate that when you’ve got competitors that are focusing maybe on just one, so how do you stay ahead of them and where do you think your competitive advantage is?

Damon Gregoire - Chief Financial Officer

Well, our definite advantage in that area is we have good competitors for most of the different verticals that we are in, but it’s usually always a different competitor for the different verticals as we move along. So we don’t necessarily run into the same people across the board. But what we are able to do is really tailor our solution to their needs as opposed to having a single or only one or two solutions that we need to make try to fit what they want. We can actually have a custom fit and custom solution that gives them the best solution as opposed to forcing something sort of down there. And that’s a real competitive advantage for us.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Okay. Do you have any questions from the audience? We do have one question, the mic is coming?

Question-and-Answer Session

Unidentified Analyst

I am just kind of curious when you think about the future and kind of the penetration of 3D printing in the manufacturing process and your model which is, you’ve also supplied the materials 100%. Do you think in some ways, if I am a large scale manufacturer, the fast that I can’t get the material from anyone except or just from one company is going to limit penetration and would it make sense not to move to, that you might have to do to increase penetration moves to generic cartridges, if you like?

Damon Gregoire

Well, I really think it’s our value proposition is on the whole package. So you have a printer that can be a great printer. You have materials, but it’s really the tuning of those two products together that allows for the quality of the parts the speed which is very important to the manufacturing environment, lower downtime, greater recyclability, greater throughput, and lower cost to maintain. That’s what we sell as a packet. The other part is the significant amount of materials research that goes into every new material, right? So and by doing this it allows to keep coming up with new higher performance materials. We have heard before when we started going down this road, our biggest customers at that period of time, where the service bureaus themselves that were providing parts to the end customers. And they have always like to use third-party materials. They still come back and buy from us now and buy our materials as we move along because what we have done. But we have really found is going into the corporate environment, that’s much less of a factor, because the corporate environments are really looking at a solution to buy rather than parts of a solution having to source of different areas.

Unidentified Analyst

I guess what I mean a bit, so you don’t – the penetration of this become a really significant production process you don’t see the current model limiting the penetration?

Damon Gregoire

No, I mean, we are penetrating it as doing it application by application. I mean, for instance, in certain areas such as dental that use these and they were printing millions of parts, the industry millions of parts on 3D Systems printers a year. They are coming to us for the materials and having us actually develop the new materials for them in a lot of cases. So it hasn’t been stopping the penetration, they are using our resources to actually provide the full solution.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

I wanted to touch on the consumables a bit following up on that question. Can you give us a sense of I think you broke it out in the panel, but how much of your systems use proprietary materials versus open materials? And I know with proprietary materials it’s sort of, there is the guarantee of the quality right whereas with other materials you can’t, so maybe we can talk about that a little bit?

Damon Gregoire

Yes. It’s we have started to go down the road of closing the systems using proprietary materials seven or so years ago. And it’s been a slower process, because we have only done it as new products have come out.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Okay.

Damon Gregoire

We haven’t done it to existing products. As of this last quarter about 68% of our total material sales, our integrated material systems and the remainders into our legacy systems which could use third-party materials. It definitely – there is definitely ways that for people – that have people not to be able to use the third-parties for RFID chips and void warranties and things, but again the bigger part of this is what benefits do these materials add, and it’s a lot higher again, just like I mentioned earlier a lot higher uptime on machines, greater materials yield and capacity. And part of it is also these materials that provide the performance characteristics that you need at the end, but the next version of these will provide – may provide the same characteristics, but because of how they work with machine can print twice as fast as the previous version. That’s a big part of this. The manufacturing environment, speed is probably one of the most important factors and cost factors that they are looking at too.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

And I would assume also on medical, the reliability of the materials and lasting over time is important too?

Damon Gregoire

Absolutely. We have materials that are certified for biocompatible materials for external use like the hearing aids or the hand and wrist bracelets or for other areas and things like that. So there has been a lot of steps and a lot of costs that’s been spent on these materials too. It’s not something you just buy off the shelf either. They are customs.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Right. Three more questions from the audience or do people want to submit questions? I don’t have any questions yet for a minute for those of you that are shy. What? Over on there online, sorry, technical difficulty. Can you talk a little about the barriers to entry for your industry? I know that question has come up, why don’t the sort of the bigger industrials looking to doing this themselves and trying to do 3D printing, it makes sense. I think Granger came up with an example, which is an interesting example someone that might be doing something like this, but what are your barriers to entry and what do you think about competition as we move forward?

Damon Gregoire

Well, there is definitely some IP barriers there. We have about 1,200 different patents that we have a lot of the different – the other barriers are around the expertise that the company and others that have established over the 20-year and 30-year period. We have been in business for workflow, for technology, the materials to develop and how they all work together. Again, it’s not an insignificant portion of it. It’s not as simple as a 2D printer company saying I wanted to start making 3D printers and being like I can move a lot of boxes. There is a lot that goes into having these go together. And maybe some do try to come in. And maybe some try to come in by acquiring companies too, which seems probably be an easier way for them to come in.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Yes, okay. So we don’t have the yarn application in this presentation. I think that 3D has thrown off your name has thrown off the presentation. So I am going to do the Q&A. So, if you have a question you have to ask it on the microphone. You mentioned consolidation and acquisitions, industrials potentially acquired. You guys have been a big acquirer of many of your competitors lots of small acquisitions, what is your strategy there and how do you see that progressing as we move forward?

Damon Gregoire

We started and used the cover of the recession back in ’08 and ’09 to start a vertical integration of service bureaus, which service bureaus used to be 3D Systems largest and most important customer. And during that period that’s – the investment from them stopped and we always wanted to get into the service bureau business and that was a good time. So that’s a vertical integration and it’s actually, that’s the one where we build parts for customers that either don’t have printers or need excess capacity or don’t have certain technologies. We entered it with the thesis that people that buy parts will buy printers, and people that buy printers come back and buy more parts. And also that your independent third party provider is sort of the last thing they want is for one of their customers to buy a printer. But so we have proven that it’s been one of our best channels to the market to sell printers. But these same customers keep coming back and buy more parts which is why it keeps growing. So that was one strategy that we did and we started with and then we have moved on and we have added some other technologies which is how we got to the seven different print engines.

And then we moved into some software businesses and I talked about the content creation and printing. So we have design package which is a lever – was a lever and that’s part of the Geomagic Solutions which is a CAD design tool, something that people can learn to use lot easier than the large packages and does what it needs. And is specifically designed to work with 3D printing because it’s a box of base volumetric, so it actually creates models by your designing and that are printable as opposed to having go through a fixing process that a lot of others do. And it allows for scanning, inspection the other software that we have and that was the latest sort of strategy that we have added.

So over that period from 2009 to today, we have done about 37 acquisitions. Future ones we intend to keep moving along and some advanced materials development, continue to expand the service bureau business geographically in places China, Brazil, Germany, the UK. We just added in the UK actually. And then continue to push in our consumer direction.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Okay. We have a question in the back and another question up here.

Unidentified Analyst

Why did your receivables spike so much in Q2 and when can we expect to become back to a more reasonable level?

Damon Gregoire

Well, our receivables did increase in Q2. They have increased for this half of the year. I believe since the end of 2012, it’s about $26 million they have increased. But at the same time our revenues actually is going up too. But if you look at as a metric DSO, the DSO has increased, it’s gone from about 72 to last quarter 84 days. The reasons why there is a couple. One is as you are increasing your business you always sort of have the revenue level chasing that AR level, so there is pressure on DSO. But more specifically last quarter we had a couple of things happened. We had some new product announcements in some areas towards the end – middle and end of the quarter and we’ve had continued growth and expansion and demand at the end of the quarter. So there was a constant, a higher than normal concentration of sales in the last month of the quarter that were on 30 and 45-day terms. So that money would be received in July of this year. We do expect that in the next couple of periods, the end of the year, so that we should moderate back down to about 75 days DSO from the 84 days.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Another question?

Unidentified Analyst

I just want you to expand a little more on the software side of things and I am just sort of trying to understand how worried (indiscernible) the world should be or do you view your software as more complementary to some of the larger CAD more complex packages that they…

Damon Gregoire

We definitely look at it as competing a little more than we used to, but definitely still complementary. I mean like, if we are looking at our CAD package that’s in our Geomagic design is now what it is called. It’s one that – it’s at a much different level than an Autodesk or to sell that is does, right. And we also have some tools that like (indiscernible) and Autodesk repair metric models just because you create something there, it doesn’t mean it’s printable, right. It looks like it is, but it doesn’t create what call a roto-type model. So it can automatically flow through this other software to fix the model. So it’s actually complementary to that.

The other side of it is that the Geomagic Solutions does is it fuels the scanning software, the scanning hardware to run like the Pharaohs and (indiscernible) and things like that. So that’s not necessarily competitive with them. So it does things like for scanning and then inspection as that’s going back down the line for reverse engineering or for the scanning to bring it into the CAD packages that they have to. So a little bit of competition, but also a little definitely a competitive and we are definitely not looking at ever taking it where these other packages, these other designs are not compatible with or able to work with the 3D printers and the other products that we have. It’s very important that they still all can work and be integrated.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Thinking about the software, how much of a competitive advantage do you think it is to have the software profile and how are your competitors positioned with software versus you?

Damon Gregoire

Yes. Again, if you look at our the tradition of what you would call our direct competitor from what it was the added and manufacturing printers and things, there is not much that we have gone in this direction prior to the others moving in this direction. We look at that as the competitive advantage, because we want to be a place where people come for a whole relationship from start to finish and even use it even if they are not printing, right, to help design, to help model, but then if you go to our service bureau even if they didn’t have a printer or even for things that aren’t being printed, but we want to really be the content creation to print leader and have it a one stop place for everybody for what they need.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Yes. And well you mentioned the service bureau business I wanted to touch on that a little bit. You have got the 3D printing business, where you make the printers and you sell that to service bureaus. And then you also have a service bureau business just so to some extent you are competing a little bit with your customers, how do you make that and how do you balance that, how do you make that work?

Damon Gregoire

Yes. We always get asked, when we started that, get asked the question that you are going to distant franchise your customer base. And some of them more fairly upset when we went into that business. Some we have still partnered with and are preferred partners with us for work and things and some we have acquired. So but what’s ended up happening here is we have really gone into this space and take steps to try to decommoditize some of what was going on there. We branded parts, like if we go to a customer and we are saying this was built on latest iPro technology, iPro 8000 technology made with this material, this material as opposed to a traditional service bureau just saying you want to sell apart here it is, right. So for us it’s definitely been beneficial. And it’s been beneficial to sell our printers, but it’s also I believe helped some of these other service bureaus stop the race for the bottom in the commoditization, where we are able to actually sell for the value. And it’s incredible value if these service bureaus provide to customers, but it wasn’t always recognized or paid for. And I think it’s a little easier for the independence to get some of the value out of it now too.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Okay. Do we have questions from the audience? Another question in the middle?

Unidentified Analyst

You had a huge sequential increase in backlog last quarter, can you breakdown where strictly where that came from?

Damon Gregoire

Backlog, you can break it down into sort of two components and one has a subcomponent. It’s really its parts from the paid parts business and its printers and materials that sort of go together. And the majority of it is printers and not materials. The increase was the parts business went up also the parts business you can expect to continue have backlog, because you get orders that take days to fulfill in the normal basis, but then you also have short production runs or other areas that people are requesting the delivery times to be over a quarter and a couple of quarters for those. The printer business that increased was due again to the same reason that some of the AR was there is with some of the new product announcements that we had. They were being sold at the end of the quarter and there some of it is customer requested delivery dates that were into July for those when they go into backlog and then remain in inventory. And then we have also had to expand two times in the last two quarters and expand it again, we have already said our consumer manufacturing capability and there is a consumer is a big, it’s not an insignificant portion of the printer part that was in there as we are filling that capacity.

Unidentified Analyst

So as a percent, parts is what about roughly in terms of…

Damon Gregoire

I think I mean our backlog was at $16 million. And I believe it was in there and I believe, parts was $8 million or $9 million of that, somewhere in that range.

Unidentified Analyst

Thanks.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Do you have additional questions? The 3D printing space has very nice margins right now. You guys do very well, part of that’s helped by some of the consumables pieces of the business, but how do you see those margins trending. Do you think the market gets more commoditized, do you expect to see presence on your margin, what are – what is your view?

Damon Gregoire

I think as long as we keep selling the value, but also keep coming up and innovating with the new products and new capabilities, that we are able to do that. I mean we got to ask the same question five years ago of what are the margins, our corporate – our margins now are 51.8% less versus 52%. Back when they were in the upper 30s, we still got to ask the question is it going down, but we kept saying we were going to pushing them up to these kind of levels, but the trick is to keep adding, is to keep coming up with the new products, keep adding and innovating where the value is.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Okay. And obviously innovating is an important part of the business. You spend some of your money on R&D. I think your R&D went up last quarter, what is your targeted R&D spending?

Damon Gregoire

Yes. And our R&D did go up last quarter for a couple of reasons. One is, some targeted increases that we had but also it was as the software businesses have come online, it has, we only had with Geomagic that we bought at the, we had a one month in Q1 is three months in Q2. And as everyone knows, software businesses is highly R&D intensive, but your margins are much greater too. We are sort of targeting a 6% to 7% of revenue R&D going forward.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Okay. Do we have additional questions from the audience? We are nearing the end of the presentation.

Unidentified Analyst

Hi. I am newer to the industry, so it’s one of the question, you talked about the replacement cycle in each vertical of the printers, and you talked about new innovations and just how long an existing printer can exist before it gets replaced by new more production?

Damon Gregoire

That’s sort of a question that has a nuance to it. How long can an existing printer can exist or push? We have ones that are up as that are 12 or 15 years old still. And they might not offer everything that they still work in everything. So we don’t build products to say we want them to breakdown in the replacement cycle, we build it by saying we want to obsolete them by new technology. And depending on where you are on that professional range from that $20,000 or $50,000 range up to the $1 million range, it’s 3 years to 7 years and the longer life obviously goes towards the higher priced ones. So sort of that 3 year to 7 year range we would like to see ourselves see customers seeing the value and replacing those machines with the new models.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

And there is no questions? Damon you’re sort of viewed, 3D is viewed as sort of the consumer play in the 3D market, whereas in Stratas this is more viewed as sort of the corporate side of the business, what do you think about that stereotype?

Damon Gregoire

I have heard it. I think what’s happened is, there is just so much interest around 3D printing in general, but then there is a lot of media around the consumer side of things and 3D is at the center of that for some of the things that we have done and we have invested in. And I think it could be an important part of the business going forward. So that's what we are associated with even though our roots and history are within the manufacturing processes, direct digital manufacturing and everything. And we produce, our people – we either produce or people using our printers produce millions of millions of parts for production on our printers every year more so than many of our other competitors. So I think it’s a misconception because it’s sort of what just people hear about. Even though what’s paying the bills right now and what’s driving the company is the industrial side. And we are not betting our future on the consumer, we are investing and thinking it will be important, but we are still investing in moving forward on the industrial and making great roads especially in medical and aerospace and in transportation area.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

And what is your mix, what's the percentage of revenue from each?

Damon Gregoire

From?

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

From consumer versus industrial can you break it out?

Damon Gregoire

Well I mean we don’t even have to break out consumer at all yet, because it doesn’t reach that level. We said that this quarter, so when we file our Q3 quarter, we will give information about consumer, some information about there and that’s even well before we would have to, it’s well before it would hit the 10% levels for the company.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

So, it’s small, even though there is that...

Damon Gregoire

It’s small, but growing nicely.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Yes, okay. Any last questions before we wrap up. I am just going to ask a question about sort of your channel strategy and also a couple of new channel partners recently. How much of your business goes to the channel versus directly and talk us a little bit through that?

Damon Gregoire

I mean, we have been moving much more towards a channel type of sales. And a lot of that has been the shifting our ASP to lower ASPs and that’s been intentional. And it hasn’t been at the cost of gross profit margin. I mean, we are following Moore’s law with our equipment. So the new version that comes out is less expensive and does more. It’s really following that nicely. So it’s more channel effective products that are there. So we have gone from the end of 2011 where our printers sales through the channel versus direct was about 50-50 till the end of 2012, which was I think $36 million was sort of through direct and $87 million was through a channel so definitely moving in that direction. And we have added, we have added channel, I mean we have gone from 150 channel partners in 2011 to about 500 now. And that’s happened through adding channel partners, finding them, adding them, and it’s also happened through some of the acquisitions we have completed for business reasons like the software companies that have actually added significant revenue to us to or we’ll add significant revenue. They have had a channel network that we have been able to use and to expand to sell other products. So that’s important to the growth and through the adoption. And it allows us to have more feet on the ground in different areas so to speak that allows us to be closer to the customers.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Okay, great. And then I will just wrap up with the final question. What do you see as the risks and the threats to the industry long-term?

Damon Gregoire

Well, I think each company has different risk that is looking at based on where it sits for their technology base and what they do and how they are positioned. I think we have been again here saying a lot of times innovating our business model to keep expanding and changing. We have seven different print engines, which cover a lot of those issues, but a risk could always be a totally disruptive technology that nobody has heard of that comes up. But we believe that we keep a good eye on those and we do a lot of advanced research in different areas. I mean a number of these – at least a couple of the different print engines we have had in the last couple of years have been the ones that we have developed instead of bought too. So we are still developing and looking in those areas. And we believe we have such a technology background and expertise in this that we do a great job at identifying and discovering new technologies.

Sherri Scribner - Deutsche Bank

Okay, great. Thank you very much Damon for coming. I appreciate having you.

Damon Gregoire - Chief Financial Officer

Thanks.

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