There are a number of competitors in the sector. Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) is similarly a 3D printer manufacturer with a market cap of $3.1 billion. Stratasys has had the same wide price range over the past year, with a low of around $42 in June of 2012, reaching a high of $94.9 in mid May. The share price has taken a beating of over 14% in the last three trading days though, and is clearly showing bearish price movement.
ExOne Co (NASDAQ:XONE) is likely the most speculative play in the sector traded on a major exchange with a recent IPO in February. ExOne reported revenue of $7.9 million for Q1 of 2013, versus revenue of $2.7 million for the prior year quarter. It should be noted that this revenue came upon sales of only 5 total machines. Thus, sales are extremely limited. Further, the Company reported a first quarter net loss of $1.7 million. ExOne’s share price has jumped to a high of $51.88 since its debut, but has dropped 14% in the last three days. The Company has a short float of over 30%. Click here to read more about ExOne.
With regard to a more established company, albeit one who has encountered some recent trouble, Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) may be a possible play for the 3D printing industry. Hewlett-Packard had entered into a distribution and manufacturing agreement with Stratsys, but that agreement was terminated in August of 2012. The Company may have terminated the agreement due to its desire to pursue its own foray into the market. Some experts have opined that Hewlett-Packard is optimally situated to profit from a boom in 3D printing due to its research and development budget of over $3 billion, as well as its extensive distribution networks. Hewlett-Packard’s stock price has rebounded admirably from a low of $11.35 in November of 2012 to a recent price of $24.5, but is still below a multi-year high of $49.55 in 2010. The Company seems to have stabilized after its recent management debacles.
Stocks in the 3D printing sector are down significantly in the past week. It is too soon to tell whether this is a minor price correction, or whether it may be evidence of a longer-term trend. If it is a minor price correction, the current prices may offer an opportunity for a good entry point. Still, investors should be wary of the high short interest and the volatile price swings for the companies in the sector, including the aforementioned 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD), Stratasys, ExOne and even Hewlett-Packard. For a look at one strategy some of your peers are using to beat the market, continue reading here.