The 3-D printing industry is made up of companies that provide products and services capable of manufacturing a range of products. 3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, creates physical objects from digital designs. The printing process works by laying down thin layers of material in the form of liquid or powdered plastic, metal or cement, and then fusing the layers together. While still too slow to be used in mass production, it is a revolutionary technology that has the potential to disrupt the manufacturing logistics and inventory management industries. The 3-D printing industry is comprised of only a handful of companies, such as Proto Labs Inc. (PRLB) and Faro Technologies Inc. (FARO).

The industry is so young that it has no meaningful benchmark index. But the performance of these stocks can be compared to the broader market as represented by the Russell 1000 Index. The Russell 1000 has provided a total return of 21.2% over the past 12 months, as of December 11, 2020. All statistics in the tables below are as of December 14.

Here are the top three 3-D printing stocks with the best value, the least sales decline, and the most momentum.

Best Value 3-D Printing Stocks

These are the 3-D printing stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-sales (P/S) ratio. For young companies that have not reached profitability, this can provide an idea of how much business you’re getting for each dollar invested.

Best Value 3-D Printing Stocks

 

Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/S Ratio
Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS) 18.26 1.0 1.9
3D Systems Corp. (DDD) 9.90 1.2 2.1
Proto Labs Inc. (PRLB) 148.78 4.0 9.1

Source: YCharts

  • Stratasys Ltd.: Stratasys manufactures 3-D printers used in the process of designing and manufacturing various products. Its products and services are used in aerospace, automotive, consumer electronics, consumer goods, education, dental, and other areas. The company announced in the first half of December that it had agreed to acquire 3-D printing startup Origin Inc. for $100 million. The acquisition is expected to close in January 2021.
  • 3D Systems Corp.: 3D Systems is a holding company that provides 3-D printing solutions, including 3-D printers, print materials, software, on-demand manufacturing services, and digital design tools. Its solutions are used in healthcare, aerospace, automotive, and other industries. The company reported a 13.0% decline in revenue in Q3 2020, which ended September 30, 2020. Its net loss widened to $72.9 million from $16.8 million in the year-ago quarter. Despite the drop in revenue, the company said that its results reflected a rebound from the worst declines caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Proto Labs Inc.: Proto Labs provides rapid low-volume manufacturing of custom parts for prototyping and short-run production. It offers 3-D printing, computer numerical control (CNC) machining, sheet metal fabrication, and injection molding services. Proto Labs recently elected Robert Bodor to succeed Vicki Holt as the president and chief executive officer (CEO) beginning on March 1, 2021. Bodor served as the company's vice president and general manager of the Americas over the past six years.

3-D Printing Stocks with the Least Sales Decline

These are the 3-D printing stocks with the least year-over-year (YOY) sales decline for the most recent quarter. A company’s ability to maintain sales in a difficult business environment can be a sign of good management and/or a strong business model.

3-D Printing Stocks with the Least Sales Decline

 

Price ($) Market Cap ($B) Revenue Growth (%)
Proto Labs Inc. (PRLB) 148.78 4.0 -8.5
3D Systems Corp. (DDD 9.90 1.2 -13.0
Materialise NV (MTLS 41.64 2.3 -15.0

Source: YCharts

  • Proto Labs Inc.: See above for company description.
  • 3D Systems Corp.: See above for company description.
  • Materialise NV: Materialise is a Belgium-based company that provides rapid prototype design and manufacturing. It utilizes 3-D printing technology to develop products for industrial, medical, and dental industries.

3-D Printing Stocks with the Most Momentum

These are the 3-D printing stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.

3-D Printing Stocks with the Most Momentum

 

Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Materialise NV (MTLS) 41.64 2.3 129.7
Proto Labs Inc. (PRLB) 148.78 4.0 55.4
3D Systems Corp. (DDD) 9.90 1.2 13.4
Russell 1000 N/A N/A 21.2

Source: YCharts

  • Materialise NV: See above for company description.
  • Proto Labs Inc.: See above for company description.
  • 3D Systems Corp.: See above for company description.

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