ExOne shares spike by 9 percent

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Shares of The ExOne Co. jumped 9 percent in heavy trading Thursday after the North Huntingdon 3-D printing company reported a fourth-quarter profit and forecast revenue could increase as much as 80 percent this year.

The company will add at least two new facilities this year, and probably a third, where ExOne will produce parts based on digital images provided by customers, executives said during a conference call with analysts and investors.

They said the company is also working on qualifying 12 new materials for use in 3-D printing and hopes to qualify one new material every six months.

"I think we're moving briskly in the right direction," said Chairman and CEO Kent Rockwell during the conference call.

ExOne shares finished Thursday at $33.50, up $2.90. They have jumped 86 percent since the company sold 6.1 million shares at $18 per share in an initial public offering last month.

The IPO raised $92 million. President and COO David Burns said the stock offering also generated more interest in 3-D printing, a technology some say will be the catalyst for the next industrial revolution.

"There are people calling us saying; 'Wow! Our company needs to be involved in this,' " Mr. Burns said.

3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, involves sending data from digital images of parts to a printer that, layer by layer, emits plastic, metals or whatever other material the part is made from into a box. What emerges is a physical version of the digital image.

The process eliminates welding, cutting, bending and other costly, time-consuming processes that traditional manufacturing relies on to make the same parts. It also allows manufacturers to easily modify products based on customer needs and to produce prototypes.

ExOne's revenue increased 88 percent last year to $28.7 million. Of that, 55 percent came from selling 3-D printers and 45 percent from making parts for customers.

The company reported fourth quarter net income of $902,000, or 5 cents per share, vs. a loss of $2.8 million, or 28 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

For all of 2012, ExOne lost $10.2 million, or $1.16 per share, versus a 2011 loss of $8 million, or 80 cents per share.

Mr. Rockwell forecast revenue will increase 65 percent to 80 percent this year to an estimated $48 million to $52 million.

businessnews

Len Boselovic: lboselovic@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1941.


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