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3D Systems Corporation (DDD) and 3 Stocks to Benefit From the 3D Printing Boom

Related tickers: ExOne Co (NASDAQ:XONE), 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD), and Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS)

A company that went public recently is turning profits for the first time. With only three months as a public company, investors should be very happy with this performance. The three dimensional (3D) printing industry is growing pretty fast, and there’s a lot of excitement about it right now. It is definitely worth taking a closer look.

Earnings overview

ExOne Co (NASDAQ:XONE) is a manufacturer and distributor of three-dimensional printers and printing accessories. It operates in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. It serves companies in various industries, supporting prototype, production, and other parts manufacturing.

It posted $12.7 million in revenue for the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31 last year. This is a huge growth of 370% from the same quarter the previous year. On this revenue, the company earned $900,000 in net income for the quarter.

This translates to roughly $0.07 in earnings per share for the company’s 13.8 million shares. Wall Street analysts were expecting $0.08 on a per share basis. The company lost about $10.7 million over the course of the year, though. Total revenue came in at $28.6 million as the new orders came in.

Operations breakdown

More than half of sales last year came from new machines. ExOne Co (NASDAQ:XONE) sold a total of 13 three-dimensional printing machines in 2012. The average price of each machine was $1.2 million. Because the company is so small, it benefits drastically from a slight increase in sales. If just one more printer is sold, the overall revenue could grow by a potential 4.2%.

46% of all sales were for printing supplies. As more printers are sold, supplies sales will grow. It makes sense that more revenue would come from printers at the beginning. Residual revenue will be made primarily from supplies, while one-time large revenue will be earned from actual printers. As the capabilities of three-dimensional printing become popular, this company will continue to see higher revenue.

Also, gross margins improved from 23.8% in 2011 to 42.4% in 2012. This is largely due to the increase in printer sales. The company has higher margins on the total machine than it does on accessories and supplies.

As the market and demand for three-dimensional printers grows this year, so will the stock price of this company. A one-year price target is over 10% higher than its current valuation. But this will happen only if the company can manage growth and enter in to full-year profitability.

It will have to face competition, as well.

3D Systems Corporation

3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD)

3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) offers three-dimensional printing to both companies and consumers. It has national distribution and offers ancillary services around prototyping, product building, and other manufacturing.

This company has been the market leader for 3D printing and witnessed rapid growth in 2012. Its revenue grew 53% to $353 million for the year. Its net income increased even more, jumping to $67.9 million. This represents a gross margin of 51.34% for the trailing twelve months. It is higher than ExOne due to its longer operations and better position in the market.

The company has had such strong growth that investors are worried about sustainability. Management announced an expected growth of 24% next year. This is on track with industry growth. While impressive, if the company only maintains 24% growth, it is barely keeping up. Still, this company is rated as a strong buy. It is an industry leader in a growing industry. It may lose potential market share to companies like ExOne, but it will still grow for the next few years.

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