The 3D printing industry continued to evolve in 2018, with major players making new strides and pushing boundaries in the space.
Experts believe growth is set to keep coming in 2019 as companies tackle new frontiers such as industrial 3D printing. But which stocks should investors focus on? 2018’s top gainers may be a good place to start.
Below we run through the past year’s top-gaining NASDAQ and NYSE stocks in the 3D printing industry. Data was gathered on TradingView on December 27, 2018, and all companies listed had market caps above US$50 million at that time. Read on to learn what moved their share prices.
1. Materialise (NASDAQ:MTLS)
Year-to-date gain: 63.34 percent; current share price: US$20.58
Founded in 1990, Materialise offers a range of software solutions and 3D printing services, and serves the healthcare, automotive, aerospace, art and design and consumer goods industries, among others. It is headquartered in Belgium and has branches worldwide.
For most of the year the company’s share price traded fairly flat, staying between about US$11.50 and US$15. However, Materialise enjoyed a major spike in December, rising rapidly from US$14.02 on December 3 to a 2018 peak of US$21.28 on December 17. The company did not release any news during that time, with its latest announcements coming at the end of November, when it launched a certification program and announced a collaboration with Carestream Health.
2. 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD)
Year-to-date gain: 11.11 percent; current share price: US$9.55
Co-founded in 1983 by Charles Hull, the inventor of 3D printing, 3D Systems provides 3D products and services, including 3D printers, print materials, on-demand parts services and digital design tools.
The company’s share price moved upwards fairly steadily in the first half of the year, peaking at US$20.91 on August 20. In its Q3 financial results release in October, 3D Systems reported year-on-year revenue growth of 8 percent to $164.5 million, as well as a 17-percent increase in printer revenue.
“We are very pleased with the progress we are seeing this year, and we believe our results are beginning to reflect returns on our investments and cost optimization actions,” John McMullen, executive vice president and CFO, said at the time.
3. Protolabs (NYSE:PRLB)
Year-to-date gain: 4.95 percent; current share price: US$108.22
Protolabs bills itself as the world’s fastest manufacturer of custom prototypes and on-demand production parts. It uses industrial 3D printing, CNC machining, sheet metal fabrication and injection molding technologies to produce parts within days. It was founded in 1999, and today has manufacturing facilities in five countries.
The company’s highest share price of the year came on September 10, when it hit US$165. The company did not release any news that month, but in its Q3 financial results release in October it said its revenue for the period grew by 31 percent year-on-year. “Protolabs again demonstrated strong performance across all of our geographies and in each of our services,” said President and CEO Vicki Holt.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.