Perceptron's (NASDAQ:PRCP) FQ4 revenue of $17.4M missed a sole analyst estimate of $18.3M. EPS of $0.10 missed an estimate of $0.23.
The 3D industrial measurement/inspection system vendor says "several customers delayed system installations" in FQ4, pushing revenue into FY15 and (due to fixed costs) hurting margins.
Perceptron adds profits were also hurt by "additional operating costs, primarily related to the management changes made over the course of the year, higher costs associated with additional Sarbanes Oxley compliance requirements and investments we are making to implement our new strategic plan."
Bookings totaled $20.4M, -5% Y/Y but exceeding revenue by $3M. Backlog rose by $3M Q/Q and $8.9M Y/Y to $39.3M. Americas sales totaled $6.1M, European sales $7.8M, and Asia-Pac sales $3.5M.
Gross margin fell 540 bps Y/Y to 42.7%. SG&A spend was roughly flat at $4.2M, while R&D spend fell 11% to $1.8M.
Citing gross margin pressure stemming from an unfavorable mix, along with heavy spending, 3D Systems (DDD -27.4%) now expects to report 2013 EPS of $0.83-$0.87, below prior guidance of $0.93-$1.03 and a $0.96 consensus. Revenue is expected to be in a range of $513M-$514M, in-line with guidance of $500M-$530M but slightly below a $514.2M consensus.
3D's full-year guidance implies Q4 EPS of just $0.16-$0.20, far below a $0.30 consensus.
The company also now expects 2014 revenue of $680M-$720M and EPS of $0.73-$0.85. While the former is above a $671.3M consensus, the latter is below a $1.27 consensus.
Whereas 3D's gross margin rose 80 bps Y/Y in Q3, it's expected to be down slightly in Q4.
With the company carrying steep multiples going into today, 3D Systems investors aren't taking the news well. Neither are investors in peers Stratasys (SSYS -12.3%), ExOne (XONE -13.7%), and Voxeljet (VJET -10.1%).
Other companies occasionally hyped as 3D printing plays are also off sharply: PRLB -6.2%. PRCP -10.7%. CIMT -6.3%.
In an SA Pro column (embargoed until 10:15AM ET Wednesday), Inflection Point Investing argues Perceptron's (PRCP +5.2%) shares could rise 75% in 2014 (adding to big 2013 gains), thanks to strong operating leverage and growing adoption of the company's Helix 3D measurement/scanning tech.
Perceptron shares jumped 11 days ago after the company announced a German automaker is buying 45 of the company's inline gauging/measurement systems, which rely on Helix.
An unnamed German automaker has agreed to buy 45 of Perceptron's (PRCP +24.7%) inline gauging/measurement systems, which rely on its Helix 3D scanning tech. The order is said to represent "the largest single-location deployment" of Helix to date. Shipments start in March.
Perceptron assets the ability of its products to provide three-dimensional measurement/feedback data in real-time as a vehicle moves down an assembly line was a key selling point.
Shares have jumped to levels last seen in the 1990s, and are up 188% from where they traded at the start of 2013.
After getting drubbed two days in a row, 3D Systems (DDD +4.7%), Stratasys (SSYS +4.3%), ExOne (XONE +2.5%), and Proto Labs (PRLB +3.3%) are all rebounding a bit. Industrial inspection/scanning tool vendor Perceptron (PRCP +7.9%), whose status as a 3D printing play has been hotly debated, is also joining in on the fun.
S&P has raised its PT for 3D Systems to $84 from $63, citing sales and margin growth. Meanwhile, Piper has issued a bullish note on Stratasys: The firm notes management was upbeat during a recent talk, and thinks MakerBot's 3D printer sales are better than expected.
Back in August, Kara Swisher reported MakerBot is expecting 2013 revenue of $75M+, up ~5x from a 2012 level of $15.7M.
Voxeljet (VJET -3.1%), which was hammered yesterday thanks in part to a bearish and colorful Citron Research report, is notably missing out on today's rally. Voxeljet's decline comes even though Citi has defended the company against Citron, stating only 3 of the 52 companies that have bought the German firm's printers have been provided loans.
Voxeljet is down 46% over the last three trading days, but still up 186% from its $13 October IPO price.
Perceptron (PRCP) shares dive 24.4% AH following the company's FQ1 report, which saw an unexpected loss of $0.07/share.
Gross margins collapsed to 34.7% in FQ1 from 46.1% in the prior year, "due primarily to timing differences between the recognition of revenue and material and labor costs." Management "expects margins to return to more normal levels for the rest of fiscal year 2014."
Sales backlog climbed 16.6% Y/Y $35.9M at the end of FQ1.
CFO Jack Lowry: "we expect quarterly sales improvement during the fiscal year, with the second half ... expected to be considerably stronger than the first half, and a profitable fiscal 2014."