By Sarah Roden
3D printing is taking the tech sector by storm, from NASA using the new technology to print tools in orbit, to labs experimenting with 3D prosthetic legs. 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) is a key player in the 3D printing industry as a company that designs and manufactures 3D-printed products.
Although most are optimistic about the future of 3D printing, 3D Systems has had a rough year. DDD began 2014 with shares around $95 each, but shares last closed slightly above $30 on December 16th.
Last year, 3D Systems announced that they would be working with Google on Project Ara; an effort to create a phone that runs on different modules so it can be customized by the user. Project Ara is scheduled to be launched in January of 2015, but it was recently announced that Project Ara will no longer be using materials printed by 3D Systems. Paul Eremenko, director of Project Ara, explained that "there is a little ways to go in the 3D printing space" and they will be using other materials instead.
3D Systems announced on December 18th that it will be showcasing "its entire consumer and prosumer 3D printing capabilities at the 2015 International [Consumer Electronics Show] in Las Vegas" next month. It will also use the event to announce innovations such as "new hardware and software developments in desktop full-color 3D printing, 3D printing food, and software for design and gaming."
On December 26th, analyst Ananda Baruah of Brean Capital maintained a Hold on 3D Systems though he did not provide a price target. The analyst noted that the CES conference "could be an important event for DDD, particularly given the recent concerns around the Consumer Solutions segment." As for the stock, Baruah noted, "DDD's Consumer operational headwinds are likely behind us, and we look to CES for a fresh look at what's in store" for consumers in 2015. "Moreover, we note that DDD's recent hiring of Peter Theran from Bose Corp., where he managed reseller, retail, and online businesses - which included product management, marketing, and sales operations."
Ananda Baruah has rated many technology stocks, including Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and Xerox Corp. (NYSE:XRX). He has proven successful with both companies. The analyst has rated Hewlett-Packard 11 times since May 2010 with a 89% success rate recommending the stock and an average return of +23.3% per HPQ recommendation.
Similarly, Baruah has rated Xerox 9 times since April 2012 with an average return of +22.5% per XRX recommendation.
Overall, Baruah has a 65% success rate recommending stocks with a +7.6% average return per recommendation.
Will 3D Systems continue to struggle into 2015, or will the company turn around and reap the benefits of the rising popularity of 3D printing?
The analyst consensus for DDD on TipRanks is Hold.