Proto Labs dives; SA contributor questions valuation, growth

|About: Proto Labs (PRLB)|By:, SA News Editor

SA contributor Keubiko questions Proto Labs' (PRLB -11.1%) credentials as a 3D printing play - the company makes custom parts for industrial customers using machining/injection molding tools - and suggests the fact it has been classified as such "reminds [him] a bit of the 1997-2000 period where any company that put an "e" in front of its name got an instant spike in share price."

He also takes aim at Proto Labs' valuation (11x 2013E sales), and thinks the company needs to add nearly 6K unique product developers per year (rather than the 1.4K it has been adding) to justify its current multiples.

The author also notes Proto Labs' U.S. sales (over 70% of revenue) only grew 1.5% Q/Q in Q3, and that departing CEO Brad Cleveland has sold $78M worth of shares since the company's 2012 IPO.