Large-format 3D printer manufacturer announced their quarterly results and they might be viewed negatively, but I think not.
VoxelJet, based in Germany, manufacturers some of the very largest 3D printers on the planet, including the massive vx4000, which happens to have a build volume of 4 x 2 x 1. That’s meters, not mm or cm! A good portion of their equipment is used to create molds for industrial metal casting.
As a publicly traded company, VoxelJet is obligated to report their financials quarterly, and from them we can get a glimpse of how they - and by implication the rest of the industry - is doing.
So what happened?
First, the bad news: their total revenue dropped a huge 18.2%, from €6.3M to €5.2M (USD$7.4M to USD$6.1M). Revenue on sales of 3D printers dropped 33.4%.
The good news: VoxelJet’s profit margin increased significantly, from 36.6% on revenue to 40.9% on revenue. Also they report their revenue from services increased 5.2%.
Any company that has revenue dropping almost 20% is in for trouble, yes? Not necessarily. In this case there is a good reason for such dramatic shifts in financials.
VoxelJet also reported in 2016Q2 they sold six units, three new and three refurbs, while the current 2017Q2 they sold only three new units.
The issue here is that we have a company that is dependent on the sale of very few units with high price levels. Where a small company like Prusa Research could sell 10,000 units per quarter, VoxelJet’s market is vastly smaller and they can sell only a handful.
And if that handful is up or down by a couple, which certainly could happen based on the peculiarities of sales negotiations, then you get a big shift in revenue.
For a company like this, it’s probably better to look at annual results rather than quarterly. There’s just not enough data points to draw any conclusions.