3D printing stocks collectively surpassed the broader equity market last year, and have maintained the lead so far this year. This is in sharp contrast to the scenario of 2012 and 2013, when 3D printing stocks took a beating due to tepid demand.
While a lot more volatility awaits the space, growth projections for the 3D printing industry are alluring. After all, 3D printing has revolutionized the manufacturing process by which an object is printed from a digital image or three-dimensional computer model. 3D printing has, undoubtedly, trimmed machine, material and labor costs.
Manufacturing methods, by the way, result in high waste. But, 3D printing only uses the required amount of materials to create a product, implying minimal waste. Several manufacturing industries also need a lot of storage space to keep parts and products. However, 3D printing does cut the amount of storage space needed and in turn brings down storage costs.
Needless to say, 3D printing technology is much in demand. After all, it provides access to materials that are fit for use in a wide array of products. Aerospace and the car industry, in particular, will now turn to 3D printed parts to design lighter aircraft or cars.
3D printing and Christoph Schell, President 3D Printing & Digital Manufacturing at HP Inc added that "2019 will be the year that additive manufacturing moves from prototyping into full production in the automotive industry, hence, in the move to full production, 3D printing enables the automotive industry to innovate faster, leverage flexible manufacturing, reinvent supply chains, create new markets and produce new parts in new ways that were previously impossible."
3D Printing Stocks to Win Big in 2019
As promising prospects are expected to make 3D printing stocks winners this year, take a look at these selected few poised to move north in the near term. These stocks have market caps greater than $200 million and trade on the U.S. stock exchange.
Belgian-based Materialise NV MTLS provides 3D printing software and on-demand 3D printing services. The Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company's sizeable software business provides juicy profit margins, while it specializes in the preparation of 3D prototypes for manufacturing, biomedical research and online services, to name a few.
Materialise is run by founder Wilfried Vancraen. This is encouraging as various studies show that stocks tend to do well, especially, if the company is being managed by the owner. The stock has already outperformed the broader Internet - Software industry in the last one-year period (+26.4% vs +4.6%).
The company's projected earnings growth rate of the current year is 350%, way higher than the industry's estimated gain of 16.2%. To top it, Materialise flaunts a Growth Style Score of A.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current fiscal earnings, by the by, has soared 66.7% in the past 90 days. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Stratasys Ltd. SSYS provides 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions to individuals, small and large businesses, and enterprises. The company recently launched innovative products and collaborated with a number of companies.
Notably, the Zacks Rank #2 company has tied up with the likes of The Boeing Company BA and Ford Motor Company F to introduce cutting-edge 3D printing technologies to the aerospace and automotive industries. Such a strategic move will surely help Stratasys expand geographic reach and drive market penetration.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current fiscal earnings, by the way, has surged 26.8% in the past 90 days. The company's estimated earnings growth rate for the current quarter and year are a solid 31.3% and 15.6%, respectively. The stock has outperformed the broader Computer - Peripheral Equipment industry so far this year (+16.8% vs +6.0%).
Proto Labs, Inc. PRLB uses traditional manufacturing techniques as well as 3D printing to develop plastic and metal prototypes. The Minnesota-based company serves customers in the United States, Europe and Japan.
Proto Labs not only does quality work but its speedy services also lend it an edge over peers. Such speedy services help customers manufacture products at a brisk pace and introduce those in the markets more quickly.
The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company may not be a pure play on 3D printing. But, its 3D printing segment did help revenues grow by a significant margin in the first three quarters of 2018. Take a look -
(Data Source: Proto Labs)
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current fiscal year earnings, in the meantime, has increased 3.3% in the past 90 days. The company's projected earnings growth rate of the current year is 44.4%, more than the industry's estimated gain of 19.8%. Additionally, Proto Labs flaunts a Growth Style Score of A.
The stock has outperformed the broader Rubber - Plastics industry in the last one-year period (+4.0% vs -5.0%).
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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Materialise NV (MTLS): Free Stock Analysis Report The Boeing Company (BA): Free Stock Analysis Report Ford Motor Company (F): Free Stock Analysis Report Stratasys, Ltd. (SSYS): Free Stock Analysis Report Proto Labs, Inc. (PRLB): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research