3D printing industry giant Stratasys posted their second quarter results for the year, and there’s some good news and bad news.
First, the bad news: the company incurred a net loss of USD$14.9M (combining GAAP and non-GAAP income and losses), compared to around USD$28M in the same quarter last year.
Then, the good news: Stratasys invested USD$22.5M in research and development projects in the quarter; that’s close to USD$100M per year in annual funding! They say this is approximately 12% of company revenues.
According to the release, they sold a total of 6,731 3D printers during the quarter, most of which are likely to be smaller units in the MakerBot line. Some speculation here: if say, 6,000 of those were personal units, it would suggest MakerBot’s run rate is approximately 25,000 units per year. This sounds about right and would therefore represent a benchmark by which other desktop 3D printer manufacturers can measure their progress.
As for the loss, we don’t think it’s a big deal at all. It certainly will not hurt Stratasys, as they happen to control well over USD$500M in cash assets; they can suffer losses like this for many years, but obviously will not.
We believe this is simply a case of 3D printing going through the tough times of the “trough of disillusionment” on the Gartner Hype Cycle, as people initial attracted to the technology discover it doesn’t actually do the magic things they thought it would. Meanwhile, Stratasys merely has to plug on forward and await other people’s discovery of what 3D printing CAN do and buy their products.