Shares in 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) dropped abruptly following the release of its first-quarter 2023 earnings report, which showed weaker-than-expected financial performance. In addition, the company’s revenue for the quarter stood at $121.2 million, reflecting an 8.8% decline compared to the previous year. As a result, the company experienced a sharp decline in its stock price during off-hours trading, with shares opening 10% lower the next day.
Weak Dental Sales
Revenue from the healthcare solutions segment decreased 24.3% to $48.7 million compared to the same period in 2022. This decline can be attributed to the prevailing challenges in the dental orthodontics market, which had already experienced a softening trend. However, the company managed to offset this decrease with a 22.4% increase in revenue from non-dental market sources.
During an earnings call, 3D Systems CEO and President Jeffrey Graves attributed the revenue performance to the ongoing weakness in the dental orthodontics market, particularly the clear dental aligners business. This segment has been severely affected in recent years. Despite having a strong market position, reduced consumer discretionary spending has significantly impacted the demand. Rising inflation has compelled many end-users to prioritize basic necessities such as food, gas, and rent, leading to a decline in demand for dental aligners, as Graves explained to investors.
According to the CEO, the market “seems to be stabilizing,” but it has “yet to return to growth.” As a result, management expects the pressure in dental to continue through midyear and then “moderate” as supply and demand come back into balance in the second half of 2023.
“Looking ahead, provided a deep recession can be avoided as inflation now moderates, we would anticipate this market returning to growth in 2024,” forecasted Graves.
Although dental dragged down revenues, an increase in sales from the non-dental markets managed to offset the overall results a bit. This can be attributed to the ongoing expansion of 3D Systems orthopedic business, which has incorporated advances in printing hardware and material systems, as well as the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into the software to optimize the full medical workflow. This workflow encompasses the receipt of the patient’s digital imaging data through the surgical planning process with the patient’s surgeon and the printing and finishing operations, which provide patient-specific medical implants.
The capability to produce these implants within days of the initial request and do so while manufacturing custom surgical instrumentation and cutting guides to aid surgeons in the operating room has been critical to the success of life-changing orthopedic repairs for more than 150,000 patients.
In addition to a decline in revenue, 3D Systems reported a net loss of $29.4 million, or 23 cents per share. This loss can be attributed mainly to reduced total sales volume and the inflationary effect on costs. Furthermore, the company experienced a decrease of $12 million in adjusted EBITDA, reaching a negative $10 million in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period the year before. This decline reflects the lower sales volumes in the digital orthodontics market and inflationary impacts on input costs.
“We believe 3D Systems is well positioned coming out of this economic slowdown and are anticipating a better spending environment in 2024 and beyond. We continue to believe 3D Systems has repositioned itself into a pure-play additive manufacturing company and is well-positioned to benefit from production applications. We are reiterating our Buy rating but lowering our target to $12 from $13,” concluded the specialist.
3D Systems – which has subsidiary firms like Systemic Bio, Titan Robotics, and Kumovis – announced a restructuring initiative early this year to improve 2023 profitability. As it grapples with reorganizing the business, 3D Systems announced it had to lay off 6% of its workforce.
“We feel it’s necessary to prudently manage our cost structure in step with the uncertainties associated with the broader macroeconomic environment. And most importantly, our previous investments in productivity are now allowing us to harvest more cost efficiencies as the year progresses,” Graves said during the call.
Also, during the earnings call, the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Michael Turner, indicated that the targeted “reduction in headcount” is part of the next phase of the restructuring initiative, which “aims to improve operating efficiencies” throughout the company to “drive long-term value creation.”
“The next evolution of this restructuring initiative will target a reduction in headcount by approximately 6% of our workforce, which is being enabled by prior investments made to improve business processes, operational efficiencies gains, and continued integration of acquisitions completed over the last two years,” said Turner.
Following the announcement, now-former 3D Systems Procurement Specialist Nicholas Van Buren posted on LinkedIn: “I was recently affected by a wave of layoffs. I appreciate the opportunity and connections I made in my role at 3D Systems and wish everyone the best of luck. I really did learn a lot of skills and knowledge from a lot of amazing people there. If you are aware of any opportunities in Procurement/Sourcing, please let me know!” Van Buren had begun working at 3D Systems four months ago after transferring from Thermo Fisher Scientific.
In, perhaps, a related move, 3D Systems CTO Brent Stucker left the company after almost two years. He joined as Chief Scientist in September 2021 after selling his AM simulation startup, 3DSIM, to Ansys and was given the title of CTO in November 2022. Stucker posted on LinkedIn:
“After 30 years of full-time effort focused on Additive Manufacturing (22 years in Academia and 8 years in Industry), I have decided to explore various Board, Advisory, Consulting, Expert Witness, and Non-Profit Volunteer roles for the next stage of my life. It’s been an amazing 30 years as the Rapid Protoyping Industry has matured into the Additive Manufacturing Industry. I have held positions as diverse as Professor, Entrepreneur, CEO, CTO, Chief Scientist, Board Member, Director and Distinguished Engineer in various organizations. I’m excited to see what the next decade has in store. I hope for the best for my colleagues at 3D Systems. I look forward to seeing many of you at various Additive Manufacturing events over the coming year.”
As part of its ongoing reorganization efforts, 3D Systems anticipates a reduction in operating expenses by approximately $4 million to $6 million in 2023, resulting in annualized savings of $9 million to $11 million starting in 2024. In addition to these measures, the company had previously announced restructuring initiatives earlier this year, which are expected to yield savings of $2.5 million to $3.5 million in 2023 and $5.5 million to $7 million in 2024 and beyond. These combined initiatives can save the company up to $9.5 million in 2023 and $18 million in 2024.
As a result of this most recent phase of 3D Systems’ restructuring initiative, management is raising its full-year 2023 adjusted EBITDA guidance to $2 million or better and reaffirming the guidance for revenues, which is expected in the range between $545 million and $575 million.
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