3D printing, rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing are taking the world by storm as we speak. It is no surprise that 3D printing stocks too should be very lucrative; attracting the attention of up and coming investors. This year, there have been countless events that made the headlines in the dynamic rapid prototyping scene. For our more finance-savvy readers, we have for you the cream out of the myriad of events that took place. In the field of rapid prototyping, everything is innovation driven, and hence the stock markets too showed great signs of life in 2016. Now that we are nearing the end of the year, a proper roundup is due.
If you are interested in rapid prototyping and 3D printing stocks, here are the top happenings of the year that you should definitely keep track of. The focus of this article is on the events that either involve or could potentially affect the leaders of the rapid prototyping industry such as Stratasys (NASDAQ SSYS) or 3D Systems (NYSE DDD). Here are some of the chief events in more or less chronological order which have taken place in the rapid prototyping arena so far in 2016.
Life signs confirmed: certain 3D printing stocks are alive again
Starting from 2014, the pure-play stocks of rapid prototyping have been hitting lows in general. At this time of the year, some of them are still significantly below their record heights. However, it is certain that these stocks are showing signs of life this year in the group. Swedish specialists of industrial metals Arcam (NASDAQOTH AMAVF) and 3D Systems (NYSE DDD) are in fact, having a wonderful year. Their percentages have risen to 48% and a startling 69% respectively as seen on 21st November. This is great news for investors who have been keeping an eye on these stocks for a while.
The rise of 3D Systems’ stock can be attributed largely due to the fact that some bottom-tier firms have entered the market. It is a given that the stock was severely depressed since the beginning of 2015. Yet, new optimism was garnered after the guard in the position of CEO was changed in the company. In spite of these positive steps, the business of the company is still not at a very strong position. 3D Systems still has a long way to go in order to get back up on track. Before the announcement of General Electric (NYSE GE) that they want to acquire Arcam, the latter’s stock had already had a solid 2015. After the announcement, lady luck really favoured the company by showing a nice increase in their stock.
The chart that comes with this article does have the ones already mentioned such as Materialise (MTLS), Exone (XONE), Proto Labs (PRLB) and Voxeljet (VJET). Except Proto Labs, all the others are pure-play rapid prototyping and 3D printing companies.
Continuation of microeconomic headwinds for the second year in a row
Tycoons of rapid prototyping Stratasys and 3D Systems have had continuous weak market experiences in 2016 for the enterprise 3D printers, beginning in the early part of 2015. The management at Stratasys has, thanks to the large number of machines purchased in the last few years, has attributed a major slowdown in purchase among customers of industrial background to an excess of 3D printing devices in the arena. On the issue of their recent earnings, the management at Stratasys has expressed their belief in its lengthening of sales procedure in order to increase the number of products being offered to buyers, which they can choose from.
The possibility remains that there has been another factor additionally at play. Some of the larger businesses have been keeping their rapid prototyping and 3D device purchases on hold. These are the larger items that cost in six digit sums in order to see what kind of new offerings there would be in the market. It is not news anymore that the giants of the 2D printing realm HP (NYSE HP) are bringing in some new launches in spring. Backed by venture capital, Carbon too is planning to launch some fast 3D printers for their customers of enterprise background. The possibility that these companies will topple some of the figures in the 3D printing scene cannot be refuted either. Hence it is evident that there will be more rises and falls of stock because of the new players in the field.
What does 2017 have in store?
With the announcement of Carbon and HP to enter into the rapid prototyping and polymer based 3D printing arena, 2017 does have a lot of action in store. It is to be mentioned that polymer based 3D printing actually holds the largest share in the businesses of giants like Stratasys and 3D Systems. Furthermore, General Electric too wants to become one of the major suppliers in the field of metal 3D printing. Hence, 2017 might as well become the year when all these titans clash.
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