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HP Boosts 3D Printing Position, Should SSYS, DDD, VJET Care?


HP Inc. HPQ is bolstering its competitive position in the 3-D printing market through continued innovation. The company recently launched an advanced 3D printing technology — HP Metal Jet — that aids cost-effective high volume manufacturing of production-grade metal parts.

The company also launched the Metal Jet Production Service that allows customers to quickly imitate new 3D part designs, produce the final parts and incorporate the HP Metal Jet into their future production plans.

Innovative Portfolio Improves HP’s Position

HP, which has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), has been gaining traction in the 3D printing market, driven by its innovative and expanding portfolio. In fiscal 2017, the company earned 36% of revenues from its printing business that includes 3D printing solutions.

Last year, HP launched Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution in a bid to establish a stronger presence in this intensely competitive market, dominated by well-established players like Stratasys SSYS, 3D Systems DDD and Voxeljet VJET.

However, what sets HP’s 3D printing solutions apart is the fact that unlike 3D Systems and Stratasys, which target all kinds of consumers, the company is emphasizing only on premium industrial markets.

The 3D printing technology is seeing a surge in popularity among major industries. With the robust adoption of the technology among major industries like aviation, healthcare and energy, this business is gaining serious traction, slowly but steadily trickling down to other industries as well.

To satisfy premium industrial customers, HP has collaborated with various companies like BMW, Nike and Autodesk ADSK with an aim to develop more advanced 3D printing technologies for a wide array of industrial use.

In this regard, HP Metal Jet is an important solution for the company due to rising demand for these kinds of 3D printing systems. Per Wohlers Report, approximately 1,768 metal 3D systems were sold in 2017 compared to 983 systems in 2016, reflecting an increase of nearly 80%.

Will HP Be Able to Dethrone Well-Established Players?

Per Gartner, the global 3D printing market is projected to be worth $17.7 billion by 2020. Top players like Stratasys, 3D Systems and Voxeljet, which already have a stronghold in the 3D printing business, are positioned to benefit immensely from the market’s prospects.

However, HP is not far behind due to its expanding portfolio. This threatens the dominance of the market leaders. However, aggressive investments by these companies along with partnerships will make it significantly difficult for HP to gain an upper hand, at least in the near term.

Stratasys witnessed 4.8% growth in its consumables segment revenues in the last reported quarter. This growth was primarily driven by additional installations of the J700 Dental 3D Printer at dental labs, and strong utilization of installed base of 3D systems. The company also recently announced that its 3D printers will be used by automotive giant Audi. The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Stratasys, Ltd. Revenue (TTM)

Stratasys, Ltd. Revenue (TTM) | Stratasys, Ltd. Quote

3D Systems, which has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), reported a whopping 41% increase in its printer revenues in the last reported quarter. Notably, printer unit sales surged 37% year over year. The company recently launched an e-commerce site for its new entry-level industrial printers, FabPro 1000. Its continued efforts to stay ahead in the market make it well positioned to take on the new competition thrown in by HP.

However, Voxeljet’s top-line growth remained flat on a year-over-year basis. 3D system revenues represented 27.2% of total revenues compared to 37.4% in the year-ago quarter. The company recently launched new speciality materials for its High Speed Sintering line of 3D printers, which is expected to drive growth. The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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