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Edited Transcript of SSYS earnings conference call or presentation 1-Aug-18 12:30pm GMT

Q2 2018 Stratasys Ltd Earnings Call

EDEN PRAIRIE Aug 2, 2018 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Stratasys Ltd earnings conference call or presentation Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 12:30:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* David Reis

Stratasys Ltd. - Vice Chairman of the Board

* Elchanan Jaglom

Stratasys Ltd. - Chairman & Interim CEO

* Lilach Payorski

Stratasys Ltd. - CFO

* Yonah Lloyd

Stratasys Ltd. - VP of IR

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Conference Call Participants

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* Ananda Prosad Baruah

Loop Capital Markets LLC, Research Division - MD

* Brian Paul Drab

William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division - Partner & Analyst

* David Ryzhik

Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP, Research Division - Associate

* Gregory William Palm

Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst

* Hendi Susanto

G. Research, LLC - Research Analyst

* James Andrew Ricchiuti

Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst

* James David Medvedeff

Cowen and Company, LLC, Research Division - Associate

* Shannon Siemsen Cross

Cross Research LLC - Co-Founder, Principal & Analyst

* Troy Donavon Jensen

Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division - MD and Senior Research Analyst

* Wamsi Mohan

BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Second Quarter 2018 Stratasys Earnings Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this call is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the call over to Yonah Lloyd. You may begin.

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Yonah Lloyd, Stratasys Ltd. - VP of IR [2]

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Thank you, Michelle. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us to discuss our second quarter financial results. On the call with us today are Elan Jaglom, Interim CEO; David Reis, Vice Chairman and head of our board's Oversight Committee; Lilach Payorski, CFO; and Cody Burke, Director of Investor Relations.

I'll remind you that access to today's call, including the prepared slide presentation, is available online at the web address provided in our press release. In addition, a replay of today's call, including access to the slide presentation, will also be available and can be accessed through the Investors section of our website.

Please note that some of the information you will hear during our discussion today will consist of forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, those regarding revenue, gross margin, operating expenses, taxes and future business outlook. Actual results or trends could differ materially from our forecast. For more information, please refer to the risk factors discussed in Stratasys' annual report on Form 20-F for the 2017 year filed with the SEC on February 28, 2018, and in our report on Form 6-K, along with the associated press release concerning our earnings for the second quarter of 2018, which we are furnishing to the SEC today. Stratasys assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or information which speak as of their respective dates.

As in previous quarters, today's call will include GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures. The non-GAAP financial measures should be read in combination with our GAAP metrics to evaluate our performance. Certain non-GAAP to GAAP reconciliations are provided in the table contained in our slide presentation and in today's press release.

Now I would like to turn the call over to our Interim CEO, Elan Jaglom. Elan?

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Elchanan Jaglom, Stratasys Ltd. - Chairman & Interim CEO [3]

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Thank you, Yonah. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining today's call.

We are pleased with our second quarter results, which were in line with expectations. We observed a recovery in high-end systems orders and returned to more typical ordering behavior for our key verticals of aerospace, automotive and government in North America after a slowdown in the first quarter. Additionally, we are pleased with improved growth in consumables and service revenues compared to previous -- to prior quarters.

I will return later in the call to provide an update on our search for a new chief executive officer, as well as other key developments. And David will provide more details regarding the highlights of the quarter. But first I will turn the call over to our CFO, Lilach, who will review the details of our financial results. Lilach?

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Lilach Payorski, Stratasys Ltd. - CFO [4]

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Thank you, Elan, and good morning, everyone.

Total revenue in the second quarter was $170.2 million compared to $170 million for the same period last year. GAAP operating loss for the second quarter was $1.9 million compared to operating loss of $5 million for the same period last year. Non-GAAP operating income for the second quarter was $10.6 million compared to operating income of $11.1 million for the same period last year.

Product revenue in the second quarter was $118.4 million, a decrease of 2.2% compared to the same period last year. Within product revenue, system revenue for the quarter decreased by 8.2% compared to the same period last year. Consumable revenue increased by 4.8% compared to the same period last year, reflecting strong utilization of our installed base of systems.

Services revenue in the second quarter was $51.8 million, an increase of 5.8% compared to the same period last year, driven by high growth of customer support revenues and improved performance at Stratasys Direct Manufacturing.

Within services revenue, customer support revenue, which includes revenue generated mainly by maintenance contracts on our systems, increased by 9.6% compared to the same period last year, driven primarily by growth in our installed base of systems and improvements in our service contracts [attach] rate. That growth margin was 49.1% for the quarter, flat compared to the same period last year.

Non-GAAP gross margin decreased to 52.5% for the second quarter compared to 53% for the same period last year, driven by product mix. Non-GAAP product gross margin decreased to 59.6% compared to 59.9% for the same period last year, also driven by product mix. Non-GAAP service gross margin was 36.2%, flat compared to the same period last year.

GAAP operating expenses decreased by 3.2% to $85.6 million for the same quarter as compared to the same period last year. Non-GAAP operating expenses decreased by 0.5% to $78.7 million for the second quarter, as compared to the same period last year.

The company generated $30 million cash from operations during the second quarter as compared to $10.6 million of cash generated in the second quarter last year. We ended the second quarter with $346.7 in cash and cash equivalents compared to $346.5 million at the end of the first quarter of 2018.

Inventory decreased to $117 million compared to $120.1 million in first quarter of 2018. Accounts receivable increased to $123.5 million compared to $119.8 million as of the end of the first quarter of 2019 (sic) [2018] with days sales outstanding, or DSO, on 12-months trailing revenue at 68.

To recap, revenue results were in line with expectation, as we began to observe recovery in high-end system sales in North America. We are pleased with the ongoing revenue growth in consumables and services, which demonstrates the strength of the recurring revenue generated by our leading installed base. We are committed to our ongoing investments in long-term initiatives to support our technology growth, leadership and expand our addressable market. We continue our trend of positive cash generation from operating activities and believe we maintain a healthy balance sheet and are well prepared to take advantage of opportunities moving forward.

We are reaffirming the full year guidance which we issued earlier this year.

I would like now to turn the call back over to Elan.

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Elchanan Jaglom, Stratasys Ltd. - Chairman & Interim CEO [5]

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Thank you, Lilach.

Having recently assumed the role of Interim CEO, I would like to take a moment to thank our outgoing CEO, Ilan Levin, for his contributions over the 18 years that he spent with us, first at Objet and then at Stratasys.

The company's board of directors has appointed an Oversight Committee to help support the management of the company during the interim period until a successor is appointed. The committee is comprised of the company's Vice President of the Board, Executive Director and former CEO, David Reis; along with Scott Crump, previous Chairman and Founder; and Dov Ofer, previously a CEO in the printing industry, with significant operations experience.

The company's board of directors also established an Executive Search Committee composed of myself and Victor Leventhal, the Chairman of our Compensation Committee, to help identify a new executive officer. We are in the midst of this process and look forward to announcing a new CEO when we have completed the search.

I would like now to ask David to provide more detailed information regarding the results of the quarter. David?

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David Reis, Stratasys Ltd. - Vice Chairman of the Board [6]

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Thank you, Elan.

As Lilach noted, we were pleased with the performance of our high-end, production-focused products in the second quarter, driven by North America customers in government, aerospace and automotive. As we noted on the last call, we saw no change in overall level of engagement in these verticals, and continued to see an increased commitment to the adoption of additive manufacturing technology within these key customers.

In the second quarter we made several announcements that showcased our continued leadership in additive manufacturing, including significant new product introduction at RAPID as we discussed in our last quarter. We are pleased to share that the initial interest in our new solutions has been strong, including multiple global installations of our Fortus 900 PRO and Fortus 900 Aircraft Interiors Certificate Solution, which delivers the performance and traceability required for producing flight-worthy parts using UL TEM 9085 and achieved the highest FDM repeatability, complete material and process traceability and robust physical data sets.

Additionally, we saw additional placements] of the J700 Dental 3D Printer at dental labs to produce clear aligners, addressing an application that has matured out of the qualification phase, and now is characterized by incremental unit sales to customers' installed base and steady returning revenue from consumables.

We are pleased with the market's reaction to our recently announced product and believe that looking forward our technology roadmap and investment strategy will accelerate the development of programs to extend our addressable market, including our new metal additive manufacturing platform, advanced composite materials, software and application development, as well as faster advancement in our FDM and PolyJet technologies.

We believe that this effort will continue to lead to the development of products that will allow our customers to design and manufacture with confidence and will ensure continued leadership for Stratasys as we drive adoption and growth through deeper customer engagement and partnerships.

I would now like to turn the call over to our VP of Investor Relations, Yonah Lloyd, who will provide you greater detail on our 2018 finance guidance. Yonah?

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Yonah Lloyd, Stratasys Ltd. - VP of IR [7]

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Thank you, David.

Our guidance for 2018 is as follows -- total revenue in the range of $670 million to $700 million, with non-GAAP net income in the range of $16 million to $27 million, or $0.30 to $0.50 per diluted share; GAAP net loss of $41 million to $25 million, or $0.75 to $0.46, per diluted share; non-GAAP operating margin of 4.5% to 6%. Capital expenditures are projected at $30 million to $40 million, reduced from previous guidance of $40 million to $50 million.

Our guidance reflects increased investments in R&D, tools, materials and additional resources aimed at expanding our addressable markets by accelerating our development efforts for the new metal additive manufacturing platform, further advancements based on our FDM and PolyJet technologies and specific go-to-market initiatives in order to deepen our customer engagement. We believe that this ramp-up of operating expenses as guided will provide the basis for long-term growth.

Non-GAAP earnings guidance excludes $32 million to $34 million of projected amortization of intangible assets, $17 million to $19 million of share-based compensation expense and $7 million to $9 million in reorganization and other related costs, and includes $4 million to $5 million in tax expenses related to non-GAAP adjustments. The estimated non-GAAP tax rate for 2018 is impacted by the ongoing noncash valuation allowance on deferred tax assets that we expect to record throughout the year on U.S. losses. Given the expected ongoing negative impact of not recording a tax benefit on our U.S. tax losses on our net income, as well as significant quarter-to-quarter variability in our non-GAAP tax rate, the company believes non-GAAP operating income would be the best measure of our performance in 2018.

Appropriate reconciliations between GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures are provided in a table at the end of our press release and slide presentation, with itemized detail concerning the non-GAAP financial measures.

Operator, you may now please open the call for questions.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from David Ryzhik of Susquehanna Financial.

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David Ryzhik, Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP, Research Division - Associate [2]

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Regarding the North American aerospace, auto and government, on the last quarter call it sounded like the team was still working hard to understand why there was a slowing pace in those areas. Have you fully identified those reasons, and can you share if they're fully behind us? And then moving forward, if you can just share some color on the state of demand in these verticals in 3Q to date and how we should think about it over the balance of the year. Then I had a follow-up.

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David Reis, Stratasys Ltd. - Vice Chairman of the Board [3]

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It's David Reis. I think that, first of all, we don't know all the way to explain the slowdown in Q1. Could be something maybe a bit random. Nevertheless, as you mention, we did see a major recovery in Q2. Something might -- in the government section it might be connected to a slow spending on the government side. In any case, we do see a -- we did see in Q2 increased demand from those verticals. And I cannot disclose what's happening in Q3, but we are focusing on plan. So we're optimistic that what we see in Q1 was hopefully a one-time event. We see strong demand from existing customers which are buying more systems for application [in] manufacturing that are in the process of passing or already past the qualification process. So we are optimistic about this part of the market.

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David Ryzhik, Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP, Research Division - Associate [4]

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Great. And can you provide an update on OpEx expectations for the second half, and specifically in the pace of R&D spending over the balance of the year?

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Lilach Payorski, Stratasys Ltd. - CFO [5]

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It's Lilach. So the second part of the year obviously is a -- we experience seasonality from a revenue perspective compared to the first part of the year. It demonstrates a stronger revenue base in the second part of the year. And we're obviously going to see some fluctuation in the operating expenses as a result, to address that. From R&D perspective, we continue to invest in the level of our plan in R&D, to increase our addressable market and introduce new offering and products to the market. We did say this as an initiative at the beginning of the year for 2018, and we will continue to do that at the second part of the year as well.

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Operator [6]

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Our next question comes from Brian Drab of William Blair.

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Brian Paul Drab, William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division - Partner & Analyst [7]

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So the first question is around the guidance. You've moved it up for the first half of the year $0.20 in adjusted EPS. And the second half to hit the low end of the guidance would only be $0.10 for the third and fourth quarter combined. And just wondering what scenario you might be envisioning that could produce that type of results. Or is there just conservatism? Why not raise the low end of the guidance?

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Lilach Payorski, Stratasys Ltd. - CFO [8]

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Yes. Our expectation, as we said, is to fall within the guidance. I understand your math in terms of the 27 plus the 10, but definitely we will fall within the guidance. Bear in mind that Q3 is traditionally seasonality a softer quarter on the revenue aspect. And so we expect from an operational perspective to see a slightly lower margin on the operating activity in Q3. So all along we believe it will stay within the range that we set for the year.

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Brian Paul Drab, William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division - Partner & Analyst [9]

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So I'm interpreting that as you're saying that third quarter revenue and margin would likely be down from the second quarter. Is that how to interpret that?

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Lilach Payorski, Stratasys Ltd. - CFO [10]

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Revenue and operating margins, yes. [Given that] . . .

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Brian Paul Drab, William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division - Partner & Analyst [11]

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Okay. And then [where] was the FX . . .

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Lilach Payorski, Stratasys Ltd. - CFO [12]

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(inaudible)

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Brian Paul Drab, William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division - Partner & Analyst [13]

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currency impact in the second quarter on the revenue?

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Lilach Payorski, Stratasys Ltd. - CFO [14]

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Currency impact in the second quarter, you asked, or the third?

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Brian Paul Drab, William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division - Partner & Analyst [15]

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Second quarter. How much did currency contribute to revenue?

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Lilach Payorski, Stratasys Ltd. - CFO [16]

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Yes. So second quarter if you compare [year-over-year] there is some impact of the foreign exchange, about $2 million impact on the revenue for year-over-year.

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Operator [17]

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Our next question comes from Troy Jensen of Piper.

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Troy Donavon Jensen, Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division - MD and Senior Research Analyst [18]

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So, David, maybe to start with you, I guess I'd love to get your thoughts on just the direction for Stratasys since your departure. I guess I always thought of you as more of a technology-focused guy, and really pushed the company towards new technologies like sintering, high-speed sintering and electrostatic and a bunch of the skunkwork projects you were working on. But, Elan, you seem more focused as a solution guy on FDM and PolyJet. And recently you guys divested a lot of your opportunities to get into some new markets or some new technologies. So just love to hear your thoughts, or the board's thoughts, on the direction for Stratasys.

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David Reis, Stratasys Ltd. - Vice Chairman of the Board [19]

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Troy, you know, we'll continue following the direction that was set in the past 1 or 2 years into this interim period until the COO (sic) [CEO] is on board. In general, you can see in the numbers it's -- we are very confident in the future of the company and we are taking the measures to invest heavily in R&D and the development of new products and new technologies. And I think that the overall strategy did not change in the past year. The market is changing a little bit, but I think the overall strategy of Stratasys did not change. And we are very determined to develop our business in the 3 directions that we were very active in the previous years. We have heavy investment in developing, manufacturing, product and tools that will allow our customers to go into development or manufacturing of jigs, fixtures, tools and, at the end of the day, also end-use parts. And we're [seeing] very good progress. And I think it's evident in the fact that about half of our big-box machines are being sold to customers of the company which are all the time increasing the purchases from us and getting deep and deep into those specific applications. So this is one side of the strategy. Other one that has to deal with the fact that we still have strong belief in the RAPID prototyping business, evident in the release of the F123 machines, which we are replacement for the dimension in the uPrint machines. And we're having great success there. And we still are keeping very strong emphasize in our development of the MakerBot line of business, which we believe will -- first of all, I can share that MakerBot is meeting our plans for the year and doing better. We believe it's a very important market and we're investing also there a lot in R&D. And third, like we promised many years ago -- we're doing it now -- we are very active in the very specific which we think will become also a very lucrative part of the metal market. And we'll hopefully have good announcements in the coming years in this area. So this is overall the strategy.

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Troy Donavon Jensen, Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division - MD and Senior Research Analyst [20]

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Okay, David. And just to focus maybe on product growth, it was down 8% year-over-year and now it is just kind of FDM and PolyJet in the mix. So what gets that going in the other direction? I mean, what do you guys really need to see product growth accelerate for FDM and PolyJet?

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David Reis, Stratasys Ltd. - Vice Chairman of the Board [21]

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Yes. This is one of the things that we obviously a little bit disappointed, the fact that our hardware sales are down. And we're getting kind of -- we see 2 things which are happening in the market. On the one hand I mentioned earlier we see increased purchases of hardware, especially big boxes, from our traditional very large customers around the world, which is a signal that customers have actually adopted the technology, are going through the qualification process. They believe in Stratasys, believe in what we are selling and are buying more and more from us. You can see very strong (inaudible) aerospace, auto, some part of the dental markets. So we know that our products are valid. The reason we are seeing some decline, which I'm quite confident will improve in the coming quarters, is the fact that the market is flooded today with a lot of other products. And if you look at it from our customers' eyes and standpoint, and I don't blame them for it, rightfully they are looking to experiment and test whatever is coming to the markets, including new entrants. I believe that we have at least one of the strongest offerings in the industry. With all due respect to all of the other guys, we're selling more than all of them. And I think that over time the market will crystallize and will adopt, I'm sure, also some new technologies but will go back to buying more and more Stratasys equipment as time will come, as we're going to come with more new product, more advanced product, in all the areas that we are expert in. So I hope it's a short-term phenomena, and we're going to see recovery in the coming years and quarters to this extent.

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Operator [22]

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Our next question comes from Shannon Cross of Cross Research.

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Shannon Siemsen Cross, Cross Research LLC - Co-Founder, Principal & Analyst [23]

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I wanted to ask about the competitive landscape. And, I don't know, David, given you're back and looking at what's gone on in the last couple of years. Well, how do you see things sort of sorting out? Which of the upstarts are you sort of most focused on? And where do you think you're best positioned? So just, I don't know; sort of an overall view on competitive landscape.

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David Reis, Stratasys Ltd. - Vice Chairman of the Board [24]

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I think that -- I'm kind of 6 or 7 weeks back into the company on a more daily basis, so I'm kind of relearning fast. I will share with you what I know now. I don't think that -- we are lucky, I think all of us, that we are in a growing market. Different segments are growing in different paces, but in general the market is growing. And we see growth in many areas of our business. And I think that in general, as much as we sound maybe -- I don't know, it may be strange to some of you on the call, I don't think that the issue today is the competition as far as the product and technology is concerned. We have some, let's say, share-of-wallet competition which, as people will increase their spending on 3D and additive manufacturing technology will [disappear]. Head-to-head technology competition, if you look on our offering today, our high-end Fortus machines, the high-end, very high-resolution PolyJet machines, we don't have really competition. It's not -- nobody can produce parts which are even closely resembling what we do with the J750, or produce parts which are similar to what we can do today on the Fortus 900 and Fortus 450. So this is not competition to this extent. Like I said, I think we're lucky that the market is expanding. And I think all of the companies -- many of the players are finding their own issues in this very, very future big market. Short term, we have some competition on the wallet share and mind share, which I think will resolve itself after the market will crystallize. By the way, to the people on the phone which has more history in this industry, I think we saw a similar phenomena in 2012, '13, '14 in the desktop market. But if you look at it closely today you will see that it's crystallizing today. And the number of competitors will go down. The market will elect 3, 4, 5 competitors globally, which will supply whatever is needed. And I think similar phenomena will happen in the high-end machines. And I have no doubt, from point of view of technology and breadth of offerings, Stratasys will be one of those 3, 4 leading competitors.

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Shannon Siemsen Cross, Cross Research LLC - Co-Founder, Principal & Analyst [25]

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In talking with customers -- maybe it's a bit early, but I'm just curious. What do you think are the biggest impediments now versus a couple of years ago to -- we're not going to get to mass manufacturing, at least not for a while -- but the movement to more of a manufacturing utilization for 3D versus where it's been in the last few years?

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David Reis, Stratasys Ltd. - Vice Chairman of the Board [26]

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It's a very good question. I'll give you just one example. If you look in aerospace, I think that in many parts of the aerospace, mostly civilian and the military side of it, is a huge desire to adopt the AM technology, for mostly good reasons of cost of manufacturing, weight, efficiency, you name it. The time for adoption and qualification of those technologies for -- one is example is aerospace, but it's also true for the medical space -- is a very, very long period. And just to give one example, if let's say I'm a big aircraft manufacturer and I decided to adopt the Fortus technology for interiors, which some very large companies are actually doing, it will become a big game, a big play into the next generation of airplanes. Because the current airplanes have already molds ready and doesn't make sense to print the part of an interior plastic part in an airplane today when you have the mold under your hand. So the adoption time, the time it takes to designers to bring it into their considerations when they're building the next aircraft, the next fighter, takes years. Now, if you read, and I'm sure you are, we've been [progressing], good progress, with all the major players, but not because they don't think it's a great technology or Stratasys is not good enough. The natural cycle of those industries is 5, 10, 15 years sometimes. And in many cases -- or, not many -- in some cases we are waiting for the next cycle to make it a mainstream technology. So this is just one example. But if you look at the medical space you see similar phenomena of regulation and FDA approvals and so on. So the cycle of going into manufacturing -- by the way, to all our competitors, it's not the unique Stratasys situation. It is lengthy. But I think the vision of becoming a very, very large industry is not diminished by the fact that it's taking more time. By the way, cycles, it's allowing us time to develop even better technology. And when they are going to adopt we are going to provide things which are even more efficient than what they have today.

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Operator [27]

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Our next question comes from Wamsi Mohan of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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Wamsi Mohan, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director [28]

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So in an answer to a prior question you said, "Look, I mean if you look at the desktop market from a few years ago there were a lot of smaller competitors. They all got washed out." But don't you think that the competitive environment today is much more coming from companies with much larger resources that are targeting the larger profit pools and they have a lot of staying power than the competition you saw from poorly made Chinese, like, desktop [lenders] in the desktop space. So just wondering as you look at the competitive space, do you think that at the high end there is more risk to growth and to the margin profile of the company longer term? And I have a follow-up.

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David Reis, Stratasys Ltd. - Vice Chairman of the Board [29]

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My comment was first of all -- I'll answer your question in a second. My comments regarding the desktop had to do with not so much the nature of the competitors, but the overall kind of haze that was in the market in '12, '13, '14 when you have so many offerings and it's not clear who is doing what and what is good for what. So this was my comment. Regarding the high-end part of the market, I think I would be foolish if to say that -- I don't want even to mention names. Compare it with GE and HP and other major players that entered the market in the last few years. Nevertheless, Stratasys is not a small company. I'm not comparing us with HP, but specific in this area we are definitely a big player. I think we have technology, resources, people to be in a fight in this market and give a good fight to the big guys, which today, by the way, are much smaller than us. But I'm not going to tell you it's going to be an easy fight. But I think that we are big enough to be able to continue competing, competing to lead, despite the entrance of the big guys. And I think we are reasonably optimistic about it.

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Wamsi Mohan, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director [30]

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Thanks for the clarification. And then just as a follow-up, one of the problems typically that you see in such an industry is that, as companies with much larger resources enter the market, companies like yours that are very good at what you do and have been there for years, look very attractive as a quick means to sort of gain technology expertise, expand footprint. And larger companies can help you scale. So how does the board think about the trade-offs between being independent versus being part of a larger organization as you look out over the next several years?

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David Reis, Stratasys Ltd. - Vice Chairman of the Board [31]

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I think that the belief today is that we still have a long way to go as an independent company. And we are just at the early stage of fulfilling our vision and dreams in respect to the industry. As much as we are 25 or 30 years into the business, I think from the industry standpoint we are early stage. And I think that from point of view of value we believe that we can generate very large value in the coming few years as a standalone company. I think this is generally our notion today.

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Wamsi Mohan, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director [32]

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Okay, thanks. And last one if I could, I mean, is there any impact from the tariffs and trade disputes to Stratasys as of now?

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Lilach Payorski, Stratasys Ltd. - CFO [33]

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There is no material impact specifically related to this. And we continue to monitor the situation and address the implication.

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Operator [34]

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Our next question comes from Greg Palm of Craig-Hallum Capital.

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Gregory William Palm, Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [35]

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You commented on sort of maybe outsized strength in North America. But, I guess, can you comment on your other geographies as well?

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David Reis, Stratasys Ltd. - Vice Chairman of the Board [36]

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Yes. We're doing according to plan in Asia. And Europe was a little bit slower. But I don't see anything dramatic in any direction. Okay? So the overall picture of the company is that for the most part the overall picture of the different territories, with Europe a little bit slower in the first half. We hope will recover in the second half.

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Gregory William Palm, Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [37]

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Got it, okay. And then service sales ticked up a couple million here Q2 compared to sort of what this last, I'd say, 8-to-10-quarter range has been. Can you give us a little bit more detail on what are the drivers there?

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Lilach Payorski, Stratasys Ltd. - CFO [38]

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Yes. Customer support is a function of our installed base of system as well as our ability to offer extended services offering to our customers. So we definitely see a nice traction there. As well as we saw a very good momentum on our serv- -- Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, our part business. We saw improved growth as a result of recent organization, as well as synergy, interest in synergy between this organization and America organization. And the organization basically sells the hardware. So all along a good momentum on the services side that we experienced.

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Yonah Lloyd, Stratasys Ltd. - VP of IR [39]

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Greg, as a reminder, what we did earlier this year is we brought the SDM business underneath Rich Garrity, who's running the American operations. And it really helped to create some of the cross-functional synergies that Lilach referenced. So we saw some of the impact of that already now in Q2 and looking forward to more of it.

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Gregory William Palm, Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [40]

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And just to be clear, was there any sort of kind of one-time maybe large order or anything in the SDM specifically? Or is that -- you feel pretty good about what the momentum is going forward?

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Lilach Payorski, Stratasys Ltd. - CFO [41]

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No, nothing specifically in terms of one order. Definitely a good momentum and looking forward to materializing this as well in the future.

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Operator [42]

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Our next question comes from Jim Ricchiuti of Needham & Company.

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James Andrew Ricchiuti, Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst [43]

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I wanted to go back to the earlier question about system revenues. We've seen declines now in, what, 4 of the last 6 quarters. And what my question is, it sounds like you think that's going to turn around. But beyond that, as we think about the consumables portion of the business, you're still showing modest growth in that area. At what point should we be concerned that this decline that you've seen in systems revenue begins to present a headwind on the consumables business? Or, are you seeing some areas of the business that's really beginning to drive the consumables business?

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David Reis, Stratasys Ltd. - Vice Chairman of the Board [44]

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It's David. I think that the increasing consumables indication for increased adoption of the technology in different segments is a reason for increase on the consumables side. And we don't expect -- like I said earlier, for the reason I mentioned earlier, we hope and expect that the combination of markets, offering being more crystallized over the coming few quarters and new offerings that will come out of Stratasys in different areas, we hope will stop and hopefully will turn around the decline we've seen in hardware sales. So you ask me if mathematically there's a point in time that the hardware sales go down, will hit consumable growth. The answer is of course yes. Mathematically it could happen at one point of time. I hope we're not going to get to it from the 2 reasons I said. We are working very hard on the R&D side. Those things, as you know, take time. We increased our R&D budgets. We have good products in the pipeline. And then part of that, I hope the markets will rationalize and people like our regular customers, our old customers, will go back to buy Stratasys products in higher numbers and it will [straight] up the model as well.

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James Andrew Ricchiuti, Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst [45]

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Are there some applications or markets that stand out that have been driving some of the consumables business during this period of transition?

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David Reis, Stratasys Ltd. - Vice Chairman of the Board [46]

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Yes, we see nice increase on the high-end FDM side. We see very nice increase on some of the dental applications, which are related to manufacturing.

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Operator [47]

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Our next question comes from Ananda Baruah of Loop.

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Ananda Prosad Baruah, Loop Capital Markets LLC, Research Division - MD [48]

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A couple, if I could. David, you had made mention earlier, and I think touched on it again, that you believe, to paraphrase, in the near term you think customers will sort of wrap up taking a look at the myriad products and begin to make choices and sort of that will have a positive impact to the stronger players on sales. Can you speak to some of the things or what is it that has you develop that gut feeling? Is there anything specific about that? Or is it kind of based on past experience, having gone through it before? And then I have a follow-up as well.

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David Reis, Stratasys Ltd. - Vice Chairman of the Board [49]

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My apologies; I don't think I said "near term." I said "in the future." And, yes, the rationale in the way I see it is we do see that customers that adopted our technology in more than a few verticals are coming back to us and buying more and more machines -- by the way, both the prototyping, high-end prototyping side and on the manufacturing side. So my assumption -- and I know that they know what they're doing. So if they decided to adopt a certain technology, went through the qualification process and yet they decided to buy 2 or 3 or 4 more Fortus 900s, it means that those machines are actually doing work which is needed in the profitable and good ROI to those customers. Now, the percentage of customers around the world that adopted those technology from the potential number of customers that can adopt those technology is minor. So we have many, many, many customers around the world that are in either the look-and-see or experimental stage of buying different technologies within the [AMA] markets. So because we see -- I think we said also on previous calls that about half of our sales of large-boxes machines are going to our installed base. Okay? So I don't see good reason why over time -- and again, I did not, I don't think I said "near time" -- over time there are potentially many other customers which should follow some of the big names that you're familiar with that decided to adopt our technology, as leaders in their industries. There are many followers which are in the process. And like I explained earlier, why it takes time. So maybe compared to our competitors -- and it's a big difference -- we have proof that our customers are adopting those technologies and expanding. I think our competitors, for the most part, are where we were 3, 4 years backwards, when people bought our technology to experiment and see what they could do with it. And this is the reason for, again, I'm saying I'm cautiously optimistic. And, again, I don't think it's near term. I think this is a medium, long-term horizon for the industry in general and not Q3, Q4, Q1 upside down results.

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Ananda Prosad Baruah, Loop Capital Markets LLC, Research Division - MD [50]

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Got it. That's very helpful. Thanks for walking through that more specifically. And then just going back to the guidance and sort of what's implied for the second half, so could -- is one of the reasons -- could this be conservatism? But would one of the reasons, is one of the reasons, for the implied softer sort of second, lower half of the guidance EPS rate, is that you're increasing investments in certain areas? And if so, could you speak to what those areas are?

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Lilach Payorski, Stratasys Ltd. - CFO [51]

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So it's a combination of couple of things. First of all, in Q3 from a revenue perspective traditionally it's a softer quarter. So Q1 and Q3 are softer quarters than second quarter and the fourth quarter. So what we experience in next quarter is probably going -- on the revenue side, is to see a softer revenue perspective. And from a operating perspective, we will continue to invest in R&D and in those initiatives that we believe that will promote our company going forward, either from R&D perspective as well as go-to-market. And if you couple this together you will end up having a slightly lower operating margin in Q3 in terms of how you're modeling your second part of the year.

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Operator [52]

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Our next question comes from James Medvedeff of Cowen.

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James David Medvedeff, Cowen and Company, LLC, Research Division - Associate [53]

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So as a perfect segue from that last answer, you mentioned gross margin should be lower in the third quarter versus the second quarter. And I'm wondering how much of that is due to lower system sales quarter-over-quarter. Or in other words, is it due to mix or is it due to some movement in the margins within the different categories?

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Lilach Payorski, Stratasys Ltd. - CFO [54]

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Can you repeat please on this question, please?

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James David Medvedeff, Cowen and Company, LLC, Research Division - Associate [55]

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Yes. I'm sorry. You mentioned that gross margin should be down in the third quarter versus the second quarter. And I'm asking how much of that is due to mix between systems and consumables and service versus how much might be due to changing margin profile of the different segments.

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Lilach Payorski, Stratasys Ltd. - CFO [56]

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Okay. I would like to clarify. It's not been mentioned that the gross margin is down. We mentioned that the operating margin is down. So we have not anticipated any significant changes on the gross margin trend. Obviously gross margin is due -- there is various factor in gross margin, product mix as well as cost changes in the life cycle of a product in terms of cost perspective. So there is definitely various factors going into the gross margin. But we do not expect to see anything significant in the third quarter that implies our gross margin to go down in the third quarter, although operating margin will be slightly lower than what we experienced in the second quarter, given that we're going to start with a softer revenue perspective, and we are continue to invest in the R&D initiatives and we maintain similarly a run rate on the other operating-level expenses.

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James David Medvedeff, Cowen and Company, LLC, Research Division - Associate [57]

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All right. I apologize. I thought that earlier in the call you had said that gross margin would decline in the third quarter. So I apologize.

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Lilach Payorski, Stratasys Ltd. - CFO [58]

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That's fine.

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James David Medvedeff, Cowen and Company, LLC, Research Division - Associate [59]

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Now, just as a point I'd like to make, it would be very helpful if you began to re-disclose, or disclose again the unit shipments, as you used to do. That would be very helpful in the modeling process. I also had a couple of housekeeping questions. How much was CapEx in Q2 and how much was depreciation?

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Lilach Payorski, Stratasys Ltd. - CFO [60]

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In the second quarter CapEx was $5 million. And depreciation -- we will get back to you regarding this number.

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Operator [61]

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Our next question comes from Hendi Susanto of Gabelli & Company.

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Hendi Susanto, G. Research, LLC - Research Analyst [62]

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My questions is the full year revenue guidance implies sales growth between 3% and 12% in the second half of 2018. How should we think about potential scenarios that can help Stratasys generate growth in the upper end or at the midpoint of that range, considering that Q3 is a soft quarter?

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Lilach Payorski, Stratasys Ltd. - CFO [63]

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It's true that Q third is traditionally a softer quarter, but the fourth quarter is also a traditionally very strong quarter of our revenue. So we do expect to see overall the second part of the year stronger than what we saw in the first part of the year. So those are the cadences that we are -- this is what we are expecting. We are pleased with the recovery signs that we saw in North America only though a main vertical that we are focused on, government. Also in aerospace we do have a very strong pipeline discussions and engagement with our customers, which led us to believe that we will be able to deliver on these set goals for the second part of the year. So coming from the second quarter we are confident we will be able to meet the set guidance.

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Hendi Susanto, G. Research, LLC - Research Analyst [64]

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Even at midpoint and upper range of the guidance?

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David Reis, Stratasys Ltd. - Vice Chairman of the Board [65]

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Guidance.

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Lilach Payorski, Stratasys Ltd. - CFO [66]

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Yes, we're going to meet the range of the guidance. We are not specifically address now whether it's going to be the upper end or the midpoint.

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Operator [67]

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At this time I'd like to turn the call back over to Elan Jaglom for any closing remarks.

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Elchanan Jaglom, Stratasys Ltd. - Chairman & Interim CEO [68]

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Okay. Thank you for joining us today. We look forward to speaking with you again next quarter. Thank you.

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Operator [69]

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Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for participating in today's conference. This does conclude the program and you may all disconnect. Everyone have a great day.