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3D Printing Financials: voxeljet’s First Quarter Net Losses a Concern in 2022

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“We are off to a good start,” said voxeljet (NASDAQ: VJET) CEO Ingo Ederer as he delved into the earnings report for the first quarter of 2022 during an earnings call with investors. But even though revenue increased and there have been some outstanding applications with its binder jetting machines, the results reported by the company show another season of net losses.

For the first quarter ended March 31, 2022, the German manufacturer of high-speed, large-format 3D printers and on-demand parts services reported a 14.3% increase in revenues to €4.6 million ($4.9 million) compared to €4 million ($4.3 million) in the same period last year, primarily driven by its on-demand services segment which escalated 63.3% year over year.

Commenting on the growth, Ederer said, “It is great to see that this growth comes from a wide variety of applications: projects in space exploration in the US, large orders from the art and architecture sector in Germany, components for cooling of parts in electric vehicles in the UK, and so on. What we have seen in the past is that on-demand printing revenue is a leading indicator for future sales of 3D printers, so this makes us very optimistic for the rest of the year.”

Since voxeljet’s binder jetting technology is especially suited for high-volume manufacturing because of its potential to scale, it has customers from various industries, including automotive, aerospace, and general engineering. Ederer described a wide range of new applications of voxeljet technology, including a yacht company that is producing several thousands of advanced propellers, leading U.S.-based exploration companies making rocket parts more aerodynamic, carmakers who use voxeljet to make vehicles more lightweight and energy-efficient and even public Swiss university ETH Zurich developing 3D printed concrete structures.

Even though its services segment is doing great, revenues for voxeljet’s systems division, which focuses on the development, production, and sale of 3D printers, decreased 32.1% to €1.4 million ($1.5 million) in the first quarter of 2022 from €2.1 million ($2.3 million) in last year’s first quarter. This change was mainly due to lower revenues from the sale of 3D printers in line with the lower number of transactions. Notably, the company sold one new 3D printer in the first quarter of 2022, compared to two new printers delivered in last year’s first quarter. As a result, during this period, systems revenues represented 30.6% of the total, compared to 51.4% in last year’s first quarter.

Another downside to the company’s first-quarter earnings is the reported net losses which amounted to €753,000 ($812,000) or 10 cents per share, compared to a net loss of €8.3 million ($9 million) or €1.51 per share in the prior year same quarter.

Unfortunately, these results are considered a “going concern” for the company, especially since voxeljet has recognized continuous net losses during full-year 2021, 2020, and 2019 amounting to €10.6 million ($11.4 million), €15.5 million ($16.7 million) and €14 million ($15.1 million) respectively. Additionally, voxeljet had negative cash flows from operating activities in the three months ended March 31, 2022, as well as the years 2021, 2020, and 2019.

Voxeljet attributed these losses to Covid-19-related lower demand in both its systems and services segments and said it is taking several steps to mitigate the situation. At the same time, management has been preparing to sell and leaseback voxeljet’s properties located in Germany to address the situation.

In that regard, Chief Financial Officer Rudi Franz explained to investors, “we are making good progress with the planned sale and leaseback transaction of our facility in Germany. If everything goes according to plan, we should be able to sign a deal in the next month. We expect proceeds of approximately €30 million from this transaction and plan to use these proceeds to repay debt.”

Franz said they plan to repay all debt (roughly €27.4 million) with proceeds from the client sale-leaseback transaction of voxeljet headquarters in Germany. He also said that, luckily, the real estate value had appreciated significantly over the last years in the Bayern area, which is why the estimated value for the entire complex facility will roughly be €30 million, so it would theoretically all pan out.

Large format 3D printed piece with voxeljet platform.

The sand core is one example of the size the VX4000 can print. Image courtesy of voxeljet

Overall, it seems voxeljet may not be performing as strongly as other competitors in the 3D printing industry. In fact, an article published by stock market online site Seeking Alpha reports that “voxeljet is the likely next takeover target,” particularly now that Desktop Metal has acquired ExOne, another binder jetting technology manufacturer.

When it comes to voxeljet stock, the company saw an upturn trend during the first two months of 2021, only to race back down to 2020 levels in the subsequent months. At the beginning of 2022, company shares followed that same downward trend, which continued in April and May. During the last month, shares of voxeljet oscillated between $4.50 and $3.86.

Despite this, voxeljet has reaffirmed its guidance for 2022, expecting revenue for the second quarter of the year to be in the range of €5 million ($5.4 million) and €6 million ($6.5 million). For the full year, revenue could reach up to €30 million ($32.3 million), while net income (loss) for the fourth quarter of 2022 is expected to be neutral to positive.

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