3-D printing stocks: Fad or for real?

  @CNNMoneyInvest October 29, 2013: 1:24 PM ET
3D Systems
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Shares of companies in the 3-D printing business have been on a tear this year. And the 3-D stocks continued to rally Tuesday despite a conservative outlook from industry leader 3D Systems .

3D Systems (DDD) reported record sales for the third quarter on "unprecedented" demand for its printers, which includes the consumer-friendly $1,300 Cube.

Earnings were in-line with expectations, but the company lowered its guidance for full-year profits. Still, the stock bounced back from losses in the early morning and was up more than 1% in midday trading. Shares of competitors Stratasys, ExOne and voxeljet moved higher as well.

3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental said earnings may suffer in the short term as the company ramps up manufacturing capacity and spends more money to develop new products. He said in a statement that the company is prioritizing "market share expansion ahead of earnings per share."

That strategy may make sense. While 3-D printing has existed on an industrial scale for decades, it has only recently become accessible for small businesses and consumers. And the business has become highly competitive.

Investors have piled into 3-D printing stocks this year as the technology has been used to produce everything from action figures to medical devices. But the outlook from 3D Systems does highlight concerns about the young industry's growing pains.

Printing a 3D robot

There are now four publicly-traded companies that make 3-D printers and accessories, including two that went public earlier this year.

Germany's voxeljet (VJET)was the latest to hit the market. The company provides on-demand 3-D printing for industrial and commercial customers, among other services. Less than two weeks after its IPO, voxeljet shares have surged 140%.

ExOne (XONE), which makes industrial 3-D printers, has nearly doubled since its initial public offering in February.

Shares of Stratasys (SSYS) have surged 30% this year, due in part to its acquisition of MakerBot in August. MakerBot was one of the first companies to sell desktop 3-D printers.

So consumers and investors have plenty of pure play 3-D printing company to choose from ... and other tech companies are gearing up to join the fray as well.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ, Fortune 500) CEO Meg Whitman announced earlier this month that the company will enter the 3-D printing market sometime next year. To top of page



Join the Conversation
Markets
Sponsored by
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
Nasdaq 4,095.52 9.29 0.23%
S&P 500 1,864.85 2.54 0.14%
Treasuries 2.72 0.08 3.19%
Data as of 1:20pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.15 0.00 0.00%
Facebook Inc 58.94 0.00 0.00%
General Electric Co 26.56 0.00 0.00%
Cisco Systems Inc 23.19 -0.02 -0.09%
Micron Technology In... 23.91 0.00 0.00%
Data as of Apr 17
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.36%4.24%
15 yr fixed3.39%3.26%
5/1 ARM3.36%3.27%
30 yr refi4.34%4.22%
15 yr refi3.38%3.24%
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.