3D Systems Develops Medical Simulator for Spine Surgery

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3D Systems CorporationDDD recently expanded its 3D precision portfolio, with the launch of Simbionix SPINE Mentor, a hands-on simulated training and practice tool for minimally invasive spine surgeries.

With the launch of this simulator, 3D Systems forayed into spinal surgery training. Based on the company's simulation, 3D printing and medical tools, Simbionix SPINE Mentor is a hybrid solution that can cater to the needs of neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists, orthopedic and pain management surgeons. This will help the healthcare personnel to practice procedures.

The company believes that its latest training and practice tool is a superior alternative to cadaveric training, which comes with a small degree of realism. SPINE Mentor is capable of performing multiple procedures, including lumbar puncture, placement of catheters and wires. Also, it is well equipped to simulate real-time fluoroscopic image displays for the entire spine, which will eliminate the need for real fluoroscopy.

The company remains confident that unwillingness of medical institutions to use animals in training will continue to stoke demand for simulators. To make the most of changing times, 3D Systems has developed a spectrum of innovative solutions ranging from simulation to implants. It is strongly focusing on enhacing the healthcare portfolio, which has acted as its strongest profit churner in recent times.

Over the past six months, shares of 3D Systems have returned an admirable 31.9%, outperforming the Zacks categorized Computer-Mini industry's average gain of 25.3%. At the very least, the company seems favorably positioned to capitalize on the booming 3D printing industry, which presents a lucrative long-term growth opportunity. Especially for the healthcare business, the company believes that consistent demand for printers and materials for medical and dental customers will continue to drive growth.

Despite the spectacular stock performance, the company is facing some strong short-term headwinds, which are hard to ignore. For quite some time now, 3D Systems sales have been hurting from waning demand for printers. During first-quarter 2017, lower printer sales continued to thwart top-line performance. For full-year 2016, total revenue from printers declined 21% and the weaknesses are yet to subside fully.

These products, applications and channels involve different gross profit margins that are vulnerable to substantial fluctuations depending upon the mix of product shipments. Other challenges, including economic slowdown, inflation, currency fluctuations and commodity prices vagaries, have also marred the performance of most players in the industry.

This Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) stock's earnings estimates have moved south in the past couple of months, which indicate bearish analyst sentiments. The company's Zacks Consensus Estimate for full-2017 earnings moved down from $0.39 to $0.26, over the last 60 days, backed by six downward estimate revisions versus none upward.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader sector include Applied Materials, Inc. AMAT , Cohu, Inc. COHU and Amkor Technology, Inc. AMKR . While Applied Materials and Cohu sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Amkor holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

With four back-to-back beats, Applied Materials has an average positive surprise of 3.3% for the trailing four quarters.

Cohu has a striking earnings surprise history, with an impressive average positive surprise of 121.2% for the trailing four quarters, beating estimates all through.

Amkor Technology beat earnings estimates in three out of the trailing four quarters, at an average of 43.1%.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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