A 3D Printer Hype Revival [w/ edit]

[edit] Ha ha ha, MarketWatch has substituted this headline for the one linked lower on the page, re-writing the whole damned article but keeping the link.  Goofy.  Maybe a couple of suits actually read this website, eh?  Hey guys (and ladies), you know I just have fun with this stuff.  Many NFTRH subscribers are said “suits” and I respect the hell out of them too.  ;-)

3D Systems’ stock downgraded after ‘excessive’ rally

In a recent white paper, however, Ark Invest analyst Tasha Keeney predicted that the tide would start to change in 2016 as new industrial applications for the technology were uncovered.

“Similar to other disruptive innovations, 3D printing experienced a period of hype ‘before its time’ and has gone through a period of restructuring,” said Keeney. “While 2015 was a turbulent year for 3D-printing companies and their stocks, the long-term prospects are intact and profound.”

Well Tasha, maybe investors in the right companies can make a buck in the right companies, but industrial applications are not going to keep up with competition and cost pressures.  It’ll be great for buyers of the technology, but not for investors in most of these companies.

***Original post follows***

On February 25, 2014 with DDD stock price at $76/share I, a former manufacturing guy, wrote this article…

3D Printing: No Barrier to Future Losses for Investors

I was actually surprised that the comments from SeekingAlpha readers were so measured and rational.  But this interaction between two commenters shows there is the other side as well; the one that really enjoys a good promotion.

seeking alpha

The most hyped company (they made a deal to print Hershey’s candies after all!) in a most hyped industry went on to bottom out at 6 bucks earlier this year.  The issue was never whether 3D Printing (hype code name: Additive Manufacturing) would be a success (it has been transforming certain aspects of prototyping for maybe 2 decades now) and the future for the technology is indeed bright.  But can investors make a buck off it?

Well, the legions of financial analysts who’ve never set one of their expensive, shiny shoes on a shop floor certainly made a buck off of it, in selling this “transformative” innovation to the public.  But as the title of my article suggested, there was no barrier to entry to this old technology.  There is only market share and the struggle to gain or maintain it.

Anyway, today MarketWatch apparently needed a headline that would resonate with investors…

3D Systems’ stock has best day in 5 years

3D-printing company to push into health, auto and aerospace industries, as analyst predicts 3D printing resurgence

Did you know that DDD “rocketed” all the way to 14.39?  Well did you???  3D printing does not need a resurgence because it never went away.  It always was what it was.  Financial media really piss me off sometimes (if that hasn’t become clear by now).

“Monday’s rally followed bullish commentary from management on an earnings call with analysts. While printer sales were down during the quarter and revenue declined year-over-year, executives said they were seeing demand for industrial printers, notably among the healthcare community.”

What I would do if I were you and what I am going to do because I am me, is take note of the beaten down medical industry and the idea that the news of US manufacturing’s death may have been greatly exaggerated. This would become applicable for right minded investors when the coast becomes clear in the markets.

Wall Street suits pumping DDD?  Good, let ’em have it.  I’ll watch the likes of a real company with a real niche like Faro, and across the sea, depending on the Yen, Fanuc.  There’s also the newly unshackled (from its finance division) GE (a company that can if it wants to, dominate 3Dp).  If I were to consider anything in the 3Dp space, it would be Stratasys, but I am not considering anything in the space because these companies are making a commoditized product and have been at it for 20 years or so.

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