Proto Labs report continued increase in 3D printing income

Proto Labs Inc. (NYSE:PRLB), the 3D printing on-demand manufacturer, has released financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2016.

Headline figures for the digital manufacturing enterprise show a 12.9% full year revenue increase to $298.1 million compared with $264.1 million in 2015. Net income was $42.7 million, or $1.61 per diluted share, compared with $46.5 million, or $1.77 per diluted share in 2015.

Proto Labs consolidated statement of operations 2016.
Proto Labs consolidated statement of operations 2016.

Cash pile for stock repurchase

Proto Labs generated $75 million from operations, and increased their cash and equivalents balance to $68.8 million by year end.

Some of this cash may be used to purchase Proto Labs stock. The company provided details of a stock repurchase plan that authorizes the repurchase of up to $50 million of Proto Labs equity.

Challenging economic conditions

Revenue for the final accounting period of 2016 was $72.4 million ($73.8 million Q4:2015). The company had previously reported record revenue of $75 million for the quarter ending June 2016.

The share price of Proto Labs has remained flat over the past 8 months and President and CEO, Vicki Holt reflects the company’s latest numbers, “reflect the challenges that we faced throughout 2016 with general economic conditions affecting the R&D spending in certain industries, a trend that was felt with greater impact as we closed out the year.”

Vicki Holt, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Vicki Holt, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Proto Labs offer a range of fabrication technologies as a, “quick-turn, on-demand manufacturer.” 3D Printing sits alongside overmolding, Liquid Silicone Rubber and lathe offerings

During the most recent period Proto Labs increased the number of unique product developers and engineers served by 13.1% versus the comparative period for 2015. This figure represents a total of 14,046 designers and engineers who used their services.

Growth in 3D printing revenue

Holt explains that, “3D printing revenue growth remained healthy and we look for continued strong growth in this segment.” For the full year Proto Labs generated $37.8 million in revenue from 3D printing, the figure for 2015 was $25.1 million.

Continuing the CEO added Proto Labs has,

Achieved several important milestones during 2016 that have strengthened our competitive position and enhanced our ability to generate improved top and bottom line growth across all our businesses going forward. They include strengthening the management team, integrating our acquisition in Germany to enhance our 3D printing operations in Europe.

Proto Labs 2016 year end balance sheet.
Proto Labs 2016 year end balance sheet.

Strategy announced for 2017

Holt gave details of a three pronged strategy for the coming year,

Our first initiative will be to improve our sales and marketing productivity to bring in new product developers and generate increased revenue. We will continue to expand our envelope of services to capture more of our customers’ needs. As part of this effort, we launched Insert Molding as an expansion of our Injection Molding service this quarter. Finally, we will work to improve our gross margin to achieve our 58 to 60 percent of revenue target.

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