Although there are only three publicly traded companies that manufacture 3D printers today, there is little doubt that 3D printing is the wave of the future. Some believe that 3D printing is closer to science fiction than reality, but 3D printing is becoming a true vibrant reality. I firmly believe that within a decade, 3D printing will change our lives in the same way that desktop computers changed our lives during the past two decades.
3D printers create products that were designed using 3D modeling software using a layer-by-layer printing process from liquid or powered material. Up until recently, the technology has primarily been in use by aerospace, auto and medical consumers. The odd thing is that 3D printing technology has been around for over 20 years, though it has only recently started to hit the mainstream.
Many believe that 3D printing stocks will soar in the next few years. Even U.S. President Barack Obama suggested in a recent speech that the high-tech industry and particularly the 3D printing industry is going to be the next growth engine for the American economy.
To prepare, let’s examine the most important players in the 3D printing field.
The leader – Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS)
Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) is a worldwide leader in manufacturing three-dimensional printers. The company’s products are used by designers, engineers and manufactures to visualize, verify and communicate product designs. Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS)’ fundamentals are firm, its last quarter operating income of $29 million led to revenue of $21 million. In addition, the company delivered over 30% sales growth rate for the past three years. The company is solid and profitable, and it is growing quickly. Historically, the company managed to beat earnings estimates in the last four consecutive quarters.
Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) has no debt and $150 million in cash, which allows it to look for acquisitions of companies such as privately-held Objet. The combined company value of $3.1 billion will put the company in a better position to compete against rivals, and it is poised to be the leader in the fast-growing 3D printing and digital manufacturing industry. Furthermore, the company expects 20% annual revenue growth, which is quite an impressive growth rate for a company this size.
In a recent interview David Reis, Stratasys’ CEO, predicted that ten years from now there is not going to be a single school in the western world not using a 3D printer. By all means, a revolution is ahead of us.
The follower – 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD)
3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) develops, manufactures and markets solid imaging systems designed to rapidly produce three-dimensional objects from computer-aided design and manufacturing-generated solid or surface data. 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) focus on manufacturing small, low-cost 3D printers. The strategy has proved itself, the company has been profitable since May 2011, when it has first listed on the NYSE.