Stratasys Soars as Revenue Jumps 23% (Update 1)

Tickers in this article: DDD SSYS
Updated from 8:48 a.m. EST to provide analyst comments in the eighth paragraph .

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stratasys (SSYS) shares soared in premarket trading Monday after the 3-D printing company beat Wall Street expectations, as revenue rose 23% year over year.

The Eden Prairie, Minn.-based company posted non-GAAP earnings of 40 cents a share on $96.4 million in revenue. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting earnings of 38 cents a share on revenue of $52.83 million.

"Our financial results reflect the strong demand for our products driven by the rapidly growing interest in additive manufacturing worldwide, as more companies are recognizing how our technology can reshape the way their products are designed and manufactured," said Stratays CEO David Reis in a press release Monday.

Aiding the better-than-expected results were non-GAAP gross margins, which rose from 56.9% to 57.8% year over year, and improved to 58% for all of fiscal 2012. The company noted it shipped 29,816 systems as of the end of the year, and ended with a backlog totaling $28.6 million.

Stratasys provided full-year guidance for 2013 that was better than Wall Street is anticipating. The company said it expects revenue to be between $430 million and $445 million for the full year, earning between $1.80 and $1.95 a share on a non-GAAP basis. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters are expecting $421.07 million in sales and $1.86 a share in earnings.

The company also said it expects the second half of the year to be stronger than the first, due to its merger with Objet. JPMorgan analyst Paul Coster noted the merge would make Stratasys the leader in the 3-D printing space in a recent research note.

"Stratasys is the leading supplier of professional 3D systems used in rapid prototyping owing to the proprietary multi-material capabilities of Objet's Polyjet printers and the ABS-like properties of the firm's FDM technology, which also positions SSYS very well for DDM applications," Coster wrote in the note. He rates shares "neutral" with a $86.50 price target.

Following the earnings report, Piper Jaffray analyst Troy Jensen called the results "respectable," and noted that the 3-D printing space is likely to see strong growth in the future. "Q4 results were respectable and we believe the revenue growth and big backlog increase speak to the strong demand this space is experiencing," Jensen wrote in his note. He also said that while operating expenses were above expectations he believes that is largely related to the merger and expects expenses to decline over time. Jensen rates shares "overweight" with a $94 price target.

Strong results for Stratasys come a week after rival 3-D printing company 3D Systems (DDD) posted its fourth-quarter results , which missed analysts' estimates.