With the economy reopening, the pandemic situation has worsened in the United States. Confirmed coronavirus cases topped three million on Jul 8, accounting for more than 25% of the total cases worldwide. California recorded the largest one-day jump in new cases on Jul 8, while cases in Florida and Arizona kept rising.
And this rise in new coronavirus cases is ushering in a host of challenges for U.S. manufacturers in the second half of this year. Majority of manufacturing companies now expect the pandemic to have a financial impact on their businesses. Many of them, in fact, had to close factory outlets and lay off employees to curb the spread of the virus.
In this gloomy scenario, 3D printing has been the need of the hour. After all, 3D printing revolutionizes the manufacturing process by which an object is printed from a digital image or three-dimensional computer model, cutting machine, material and labor costs.
Manufacturing methods, by the way, result in high waste. But 3D printing only uses the required amount of materials to create a product, resulting in minimal waste. Several manufacturing industries also need a lot of storage space to keep parts and products. However, 3D printing does cut the amount of storage space needed and in turn brings down storage costs.
Notably, there has been a surge in demand for specialized health and medical products amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and in order to meet that, demand manufacturers have now turned to 3D printing to address shortfalls.
3D Printing Stocks Set to Gain in 2H & Beyond
Thanks to the aforesaid bullish trends, 3D printing stocks will surely garner most of the attention from investors. But there are some under-the-radar stocks that are poised to move north in the near term. These stocks have market caps greater than $200 million and trade on the U.S. stock exchange. Have a look –
Minnesota-based company, Proto Labs, Inc. (PRLB - Free Report
) uses traditional manufacturing techniques as well as 3D printing to develop plastic and metal prototypes.
Proto Labs not only does quality work but its speedy services also lend it an edge over peers. Such speedy services help customers manufacture at a brisk pace and introduce those in the markets more quickly. It boasts that its technology-enabled approach gives it the fastest turnaround speed in the industry.
While other companies were hurt by the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, in the first quarter, Proto Labs’ revenues improved 1.5% year over year. The company’s shares have gained 7.5% so far this year.
What’s more, its stock price is widely expected to increase for the rest of this year and beyond. In fact, the company’s expected earnings growth rate for the next five-year period is 23%.
Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS - Free Report
) provides 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions to small and large manufacturers. The company has launched innovative products and collaborated with a number of companies.
Notably, the company tied up with the likes of The Boeing Company (BA) and Ford Motor Company (F) to introduce cutting-edge 3D printing technologies to the aerospace and automotive industries. Such a strategic move will surely help Stratasys expand geographic reach and drive market penetration.
Moreover, the need for 3D printing amid the health crisis will help its shares stay afloat this year and beyond. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the next five-year period is 24% compared with the Computer - Peripheral Equipment
industry’s projected rise of 15.3%.
Materialise NV (MTLS - Free Report
) provides additive manufacturing and medical software, and 3D printing services across the globe, including the United States.
The company seems to have gone unnoticed by many investors, at least those in the United States, maybe because it is headquartered in Belgium. But it’s a shame that it got overlooked as the stock has gained considerably amid the pandemic so far this year. Its shares are up 24% year to date.
What’s more, the company’s shares are expected to climb through the rest of this year and beyond. Its expected earnings growth rate for the next five-year period is 20%.
Materialise is run by founder Wilfried Vancraen, who holds quite a few patents related to the technical and medical applications of 3D printing. This is encouraging as various studies show that stocks tend to do well, especially, if the company is being managed by the owner.
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