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>>> Why 3D Printing Stocks Jumped This Week

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gfp927z   Tuesday, 09/07/21 02:18:48 PM
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>>> Why 3D Printing Stocks Jumped This Week

3D printing companies continue to make slow and steady improvements to their products, which is helping their stocks today.

Motley Fool

Travis Hoium

Sep 3, 2021


Key Points

3D Systems is adding two new metals to its portfolio.

Nano Dimensions is unveiling a new system this month.

It didn't hurt that investors are betting the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low for a while longer.

What happened

3D printing stocks had a good week this week, some climbing double digits. There was some news about continued improvement in materials and potential tailwinds from low interest rates, and the market took an optimistic view of an industry it didn't like just a few weeks ago. After all, this week's gains followed a double-digit drop in some 3D printing stocks just a few weeks ago, so volatility is the name of the game in this industry.

Leading the way were shares of Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS), which were up 11.7% from the close of the market Friday to the close of the market Thursday night, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) was up 8.2%, and Nano Dimension (NASDAQ:NNDM) was up 6.4%, over the same period.

So what

Company-specific news was meaningful even if it wasn't a game changer for anyone in the long term. 3D Systems announced that two new materials are now available in its metals portfolio. Scalmalloy is a high-strength aluminum alloy intended for aerospace, automotive, and semiconductor markets. M789 is a metal used for making molds, drill bits, and even drive train parts. 3D printing companies are continually adding materials to their portfolios, but these are a sign of just how far the industry is pushing into metal products.

Nano Dimension also announced it will show its Fabrica 2.0 Micro Additive Manufacturing System, or Fabrica 2.0, at the RAPID + TCT event in Chicago from Sept. 13 through 15. This product is for micron-level-resolution production of parts for medical devices, semiconductors, and other small electronics.

There was also some economic news released this week that could help 3D printing companies in the long term. The U.S. economy is still growing coming out of the pandemic, but jobs are not coming back as quickly as central bankers may have hoped. Consumer confidence fell to a six-month low in August as worries about COVID-19 and inflation weighed on consumers. And companies didn't hire as quickly as hoped, adding just 235,000 jobs in August, short of the 720,000 that economists had projected.

How can bad labor and confidence data be good for 3D printing? The simple answer is that investors are betting that a slow economic recovery will mean the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low for longer. Lower rates make it less expensive to borrow money for growth, which could include buying new equipment like 3D printers. This may be speculation, but in the short term, that's what's driving 3D printing stocks higher in the absence of more substantial news.

Now what

3D printing technology continues to improve and find new applications in the market. But that hasn't translated to higher profitability for companies or higher stock prices, leaving investors wondering what's next. And that's why investors can sometimes grab small pieces of information like a new material or low interest rates as a catalyst for future growth.

What I am looking for is the technology advances translating into more growth and better margins overall for 3D printing stocks. Until we see that, this is an industry I'll watch from the sidelines. But if 3D printing finds a path to growth, these beaten-down stocks could be growth stocks once again.


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