ExOne Co Earnings Preview: Get Off Your Pins and Needles and Watch These 3 Metrics

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It hasn't been a knd year to shareholders of ExOne , our leading industrial 3-D printer. Shares are down 50% in 2014; the last two times quarterly reports were released, the stock dipped an average of 13%. And if that weren't enough, almost half of the company's shares are currently being shorted.

But because we're long-term investors, we know that this is the price we pay for investing in companies with disruptive technologies. If you own shares, or are considering adding them to your portfolio, here are three big metrics to watch.

Source: SEC filings

Investors should look to see if the company will continue that trend. If PSC revenues increase by at least 25% during the second quarter, it would bring segment revenues to approximately $4.2 million. Investors should use that figure as a rough guide to see if customers are taking advantage of PSC to test ExOne's printers out.

Furthermore, investors should listen in to the conference call. ExOne has stated that it wants to, "vertically integrate [the full value chain of ExCast] under ExOne leadership and control." That includes everything from printing a mold, to metal casting, to a final shipment to ExCast customers.

3. Ironing out the mistakes

Some things a company can control, some things it can't. As Dave Meier pointed out last quarter, there were two significant events that dinged the company's earnings release. First, it was unable to book a large order from a Russian customer. Management said that it would be pushed out until the second quarter. Because of that, printer revenues actually contracted instead of expanding.

Second, the company was forced to pay for mistakes made by a foundry in pouring castings for Sikorsky Aircraft. The cost of reprinting the molds and expediting the shipments cost the company five percentage-points in gross margins.

Though ExOne made the right move with Sikorsky, and can do little about the timing of Russian orders, it would be nice to see management smoothing out these processes. I'll be listening closely to the conference call to see if there were any other delays, or fires to be put out this quarter.

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The article ExOne Co Earnings Preview: Get Off Your Pins and Needles and Watch These 3 Metrics originally appeared on

Brian Stoffel owns shares of ExOne. The Motley Fool recommends ExOne. The Motley Fool owns shares of ExOne. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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