The following summarizes ExOne’s financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2020:
Revenue was $17.4 million, compared to $17.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. Despite an increase in unit volume sales, the decrease in revenue was driven by a 9% decline in revenue from 3D printing machines as a result of the mix of machines sold (higher average selling price sand systems decreased from 11 units in Q4 2019 to five units in Q4 2020 while lower average selling price metal systems increased from three units in Q4 2019 to 13 units in Q4 2020). The decrease in 3D printing machine revenue was offset by an increase in recurring revenue (3D printed and other products, materials and services) of 11% compared to the year-ago period, led by an increase in revenue from funded research and development services, largely in support of future production metal equipment sale opportunities, as well as materials and aftermarket revenue associated with the Company’s global installed base of printers. Those gains were offset by a decline in sand printing services revenue due to a continued decline in demand as a result of COVID-19. Revenue for both product groups continued to be impacted by COVID-19, including disruptions to domestic and international shipping and travel, in addition to negative macroeconomic effects.
Gross margin was 22.2%, compared to 38.6% in the fourth quarter of 2019. The decrease was primarily due to low contribution margin on various system sales, including the X1 25Pro following its initial market introduction as well as unfavorable product warranty experience and other operating inefficiencies and challenges driven by the COVID-19 operating environment.
Research and development expenses were $2.0 million, compared to $2.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. The decrease was primarily due to cost saving measures and other cost reductions associated with COVID-19 and lower machine development spending. Investments remain focused on the further development of binder jetting technology, including the X1 160ProTM production metal 3D printing system and the recently announced InnoventPro advanced entry-level metal 3D printing system.
Selling, general and administrative expenses were $5.5 million, compared to $5.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. This decrease was driven by a combination of factors including lower travel, trade show, consulting and employee-related expenses, offset by higher external commissions expense.
Net loss was $4.0 million, or $0.21 per fully diluted share, compared with a net loss of $2.0 million, or $0.12 per fully diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2019.