3D printer player ExOne sees revenue shortfall

ExOne said sales delays mean it won't hit its revenue projections. But the company does expect those sales to close in the first half of 2014.

ExOne, a key 3D printer marker for industrial customers, on Tuesday cut its revenue outlook 2013 and said that it sold out of its six M-Flex machines, which serve as an intuitive starter set for metal printing.

The M-Flex.

The company, considered to be in one of the hotter segments for 3D printing, said its 2013 revenue will be $40 million to $42 million. ExOne previously projected sales of about $48 million.

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ExOne makes two of the largest 3D printers in the world for sand and metal materials. ExOne systems are used in the aerospace, energy, biomedical and automotive industries.

In a statement, ExOne said:

The shortfall primarily relates to machine sales not yet completed for customers in Russia, India, Mexico and France, some of which involve approval processes that were deferred into 2014. The specific machines to be sold are four S-Max and one S-Print. The S-Max prints casting molds and cores printed directly from computer assisted drafting applications. The S-Print system prints engineered sand for cores and molds.

ExOne's printers aren't cheap, but S. Kent Rockwell, CEO of the company, said the company hasn't lost an order. High price points do require longer sales cycles. Consider:

  • The S-Max sells for an average of $1.4 million;
  • The S/M Print sells for an average of $800,000 a system;
  • The MFlex goes for $400,000 on average;
  • And the MLab, which is used for academia and prototyping, goes for $100,000 each.

The sales that fell through in the fourth quarter are expected to close in the first half. Rockwell said it will quadruple production and triple sales of the M-Flex in 2014.

Rockwell added that ExOne can continue to grow its long-term revenue at a 40 percent to 50 percent clip without the help of acquisitions. The company does intend to acquire other players to grow too.

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