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3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) Earnings Strong – If You Know Where to Look

3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) reported Q4 2013 earnings Friday morning before opening bell. One key thing to note: The results are not indicative of the massive potential of this company.

While this innovative provider of three-dimensional (3D) content-to-print solutions is having a rocky start in 2014, it's a good long-term investment.

Here's a closer look at where DDD is headed.

3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) in 2014

On Feb. 5, DDD preliminarily released its full-year guidance. 3D Systems dropped its outlook for full-year adjusted earnings per share (EPS) from analysts' expectations of $1.27 per share to between $0.73 and $0.85 per share.

And indeed, today the company posted EPS of $0.85 on revenue of $513.4 million, compared with EPS of $0.83 on revenue of $353.63 million in 2012. For the quarter, DDD reported EPS of $0.19 and $154.8 million in revenue, compared to an EPS of $0.26 on revenue of $101.57 million in the same period a year ago.

The company cited softer than expected demand for its consumer printers. It also stated that profits are weighed down by "very significant R&D, manufacturing and marketing investments designed to accelerate revenue growth."

The bad news caused DDD shares to drop 15.39%, but we knew in early January that this innovative provider of three-dimensional (3D) content-to-print solutions was ripe for a quick reversal.

"I love the products and love the potential, but 3D Systems has been bid up to amazingly high levels. It looks like a great short to me," Money Morning Chief Financial Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald noted in his 2014 Market Forecast on Jan. 6. "Practically speaking, even though the company's products are at office supply stores and in catalogues, the average consumer hasn't gotten the bug yet so they aren't selling through. With a P/E of 200.89, I think it's ripe for a reversal just on a technical basis."

Fitz-Gerald pointed readers to short the stock – which ultimately offered gains as much as 30% on 3D System's Feb. 5 dive.

But going forward, Fitz-Gerald believes DDD's stock-price plunge is not a bearish signal for the company in 2014…

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