HP Enters the 3-D Printing Market

HP (HPQ) is struggling to stay relevant, as the company is seeing its PC and Printing segments continue to decline with no end in sight. CEO Meg Whitman has made some recent comments about expanding the company's forays into other areas, including 3-D printing, which could happen early next year.

"And what we're doing is focusing on what's the value proposition by market segment, whether that be consumer or industrial," Whitman said on HP's most recent earnings call. "What's the competitive differentiation and we've got some very interesting things coming. So stay tuned in 2014."

The additive manufacturing market (which 3-d printing is categorized as being in) has been growing like a weed over the past 20 years, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18%. But it's only been in the past few years when the industry has really started to take off, with media and investors taking notice. Over the past three years, revenue from 3-D printing has more than doubled to $2.2 billion, and is poised to continue its growth, according to Deutsche Bank analyst Sherri Scribner.

Given the sharp run ups in equity prices of companies like Stratasys (SSYS), ExOne (XONE) and 3-D Systems (DDD), it only makes sense for HP to try and attract investor interest in this manner, and show that the company is spending its R&D budget in the right areas.

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