Over the last two years, the seemingly meteoric rise in popularity of 3D printing has remained a dominant story in the world of investing. However, with a rise in popularity comes the inevitable increase in headline risk and subsequent volatility. Proto Labs, Inc. (NYSE:PRLB), a producer of CNC machined/injection molded parts for prototype and low-moderate volume tooling, is often lumped in with the 3D printing stocks despite the fact that it operates a business that is quite different. The company, which remains more of a quick turn-around machining producer, is best thought of as an alternative investment to the 3D printer manufacturers, not a competitor by any means.
Much of the confusion among investors surely comes from the...
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