3D Systems (DDD) is one of the most discussed new technological companies around. The company is capable of “printing” three-dimensional objects with moving parts and replicating object with moving parts. It’s almost like having a cloning machine in you home.
Their sales come from various industries, and the possibilities of applying this technology are sky high. They are already deeply involved in the healthcare business, printing medical devices like custom hearing aids and teeth. They also contribute to aerospace companies and other manufacturing-based firms. The next big push is for the sale of home printers to clients above and beyond hobbyists.
One of the expanding applications of the technology is in the dental world. Via a mold or in-mouth scan there are a series of printers that take the image and can replicate the tooth or teeth in a plaster mold with precision. And here’s the best part, the combined cost of printing a mold is just $5.
For a low cost, the printer is capable of creating crowns and bridges, wax-ups, denture framework, drill guides, and more advanced machines can even do metal printing for oral needs. The high-end metal printer can produce the object needed, like a tooth, out of titanium or chrome, while the lower-end models are for creating molds. The printer used to make molds for orthodontics, dentures, and crowns boasts time and cost efficiency compared to traditional molding techniques.
What the Analysts Say
3D systems is going to release their earnings report July 26th. Last quarter, the numbers beat expectations by 92% and although revenue is expected to rise 53% this quarter, the earnings are only expected to beat last years’ by small margins.
On Thursday, JP Morgan downgraded their “neutral” rating of DDD to “underweight” citing European exposure (near 35% of total sales) and skepticism over the consumer line. However, Needham & Company restated a “buy” rating, as did Canaccord Genuity, while Barclays raised its target price for 3D systems all in the last month or so. The stock was down during morning trading from the news of the JP Morgan downgrade.
Business Section: Investing Ideas
3D Systems made 3 large acquisitions during the last quarter in an effort to offer printing solutions in the medical field and aerospace, primarily. Its direct competitor Stratasys (SSYS) merged with Objet, almost doubling its size and making it a more serious competitor to DDD.
Can the earnings report along with increasing exposure to the medical market keep the price of 3D systems rising, or has JP Morgan called this one right stating the price is inflated?
3D printing could be one of the most important technological developments to come in the next several years, stay tuned for their earnings report next week.
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