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3D Systems revenue jumps as it sells more printers

(Reuters) - Three-dimensional printer maker 3D Systems Corp reported a 31 percent jump in quarterly revenue as it benefited from robust spending on manufacturing and R&D.

Shares in the company, whose peers include Stratasys Ltd and recently listed ExOne Co , were up about 3 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday.

Revenue rose to $102.1 million in the first quarter as 3D Systems sold 81 percent more printers and gross margin expanded 250 basis points.

Net income fell to $5.9 million, or 6 cents per share, from $6.2 million, or 8 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, the company earned 21 cents per share.

Analysts expected it to earn 21 cents per share on revenue of $101.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company expects to continue to benefit from spending in R&D and manufacturing despite economic uncertainties in some parts of the world, said Chief Executive Avi Reichental.

The 3D printing industry, enjoying strong demand, is capable of growing by more than 20 percent annually for the "foreseeable future," Piper Jaffray analyst Troy Jensen wrote in a pre-earnings note.

3D Systems is the biggest among listed companies which produce three-dimensional printers, a popular technology that U.S. President Barack Obama described as having "the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything," in his State of the Union address in February. (http://link.reuters.com/fuw85t)

The company, however, has also faced criticism. Short-seller Citron Research called the technology over-hyped and the company's stock overvalued in a February report.

3D Systems shares have risen 83.4 percent in the last year. They closed at $35.77 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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