The seeds which Stratasys Ltd.SSYS sowed four years ago has finally brought fortunes for the company. The company recently announced gaining a contract to manufacture flight parts for Airbus' A350 XWB aircraft.
Stratasys announced that Airbus has picked its wholly owned subsidiary - Stratasys Direct Manufacturing - to produce 3D printed non-structural polymer parts, such as brackets, and other parts used for system installation, for the aforementioned aircraft. The parts will be manufactured on the company's fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D Printers, using ULTEM 9085 thermoplastic material.
It should be noted that it was 2013 when the two companies joined forces for the development and implementation of Stratasys' FDM technology for Airbus tools and flying parts applications that proved valuable for the latter's A350 XWB program. In 2014, the leading aircraft manufacturer produced over 1,000 aircraft parts by using Stratasys FDM 3D printing technology.
Adoption of Stratasys' 3D printing solution will help Airbus in improving supply chain efficiency and cost competitiveness. Per the company, "Stratasys Direct Manufacturing's 3D printing capacity and infrastructure allow printing and shipping parts on demand to Airbus, bringing the expected reactivity, tighter turnaround times and lower inventory costs."
Notably, Stratasys' 3D printers are already being used in the aerospace industry, but either for prototypes or as an assembly tool. Some of the customers in the aerospace industry which are using the company's services include Boeing BA , Siemens, Boom Supersonic and United Launch Alliance.
However, Airbus' recent deal with Stratasys signifies that the latter's 3D printed polymer parts are ready for serial production, well reliable, as well as cost effective, and therefore enhance the scope of its wide adoption by other aircraft manufacturers. Thus, we believe that the company will gain such type of contracts in the year ahead, bringing in incremental revenues.
Apart from the aviation industry, Stratasys' 3D printing technologies are being used in other industries too. The company has partnerships with the likes of Schneider Electric, which operates in the energy sector, and Ford Motor Company F , which is in the automotive sector.
We believe that the company's portfolio of innovative products will help it generate incremental sales over the long run.
Notably, Stratasys outperformed the Zacks categorized Computer-Peripheral Equipment industry in the year-to-date (YTD) period. The stock returned approximately 45.2% YTD, outperforming the industry's gain of 31.6%.
Stratasys currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the broader technology sector is Applied Optoelectronics Inc. AAOI , which sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .
The stock witnessed upward estimate revisions over the last seven days and has a long-term EPS growth rate of 18.8%.
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