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3D Printing Industry Spotlighted

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- 3D printing stocks were rallying Monday before a comment from activist investor Carl Icahn sent markets headed south, causing some of them to lose some of their gains. Speaking at the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit, Icahn noted his caution on equities, commenting the market could easily see a "big drop".

Earlier in the day, a report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch gave support to industry leader Stratasys (SSYS - Get Report), causing competitors Voxeljet (VJET), 3D Systems (DDD - Get Report) and ExOne (XONE) to rally in response.

Following Icahn's comments, Voxeljet was still leading the gains, up 13% to $66.66, while Stratasys ticked 2.4% higher to $127.95 and ExOne climbed 2.3% to $61.13. 3D Systems, which was up more than 5% earlier in the day, ticked up 0.25% to $80.37.

In its report, Bank of America reiterated a "buy" rating for Stratasys and upwardly revised its price target to $140 from $130, on the growing popularity of consumer 3D printers.

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"The 3D printer market remains underpenetrated, and SSYS should see significant [revenue] growth as more consumers adopt low end 3D printers, while use of the higher end printers in direct digital manufacturing increases sales of higher margin print materials," analysts Wamsi Mohan and Ruplu Bhattacharya wrote in the report.

Putting money where its mouth is, Bank of America granted a five-year, $250 million revolving credit facility to Stratasys less than a week ago.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Stratasys Ltd as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate Stratasys Ltd (SSYS) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • SSYS's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 2.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 152.6%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • SSYS has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 5.94, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 48.28% is the gross profit margin for Stratasys Ltd which we consider to be strong. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SSYS's net profit margin of -5.27% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Computers & Peripherals industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 227.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $5.18 million to -$6.63 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Computers & Peripherals industry and the overall market, Stratasys Ltd's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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