For some publicly traded 3d printing companies, 2016 was a tough year.
For others it was a good year, and for 3D Systems it was an excellent one.
Let’s start with the good news.
As of December 22nd — the date of this article’s publishing — 3D Systems is up 69% YTD ( year-to-date), beating its benchmark NYSE index by nearly 60%. There was a steep rise in the company’s value from January to May of 2016 and then a bunch of months where the company’s value rose, fell then rose again.
“Another likely reason the market has been more optimistic about 3D Systems this year is the change at the top,” Beth McKenna of the Motley Fool, a financial publication, wrote earlier this week. “The market was likely satisfied with the choice of Vyomesh Joshi — who came on board in April — as the new CEO, since he has relevant big-company experience: He was a top 2D-printing exec at the former Hewlett-Packard before it split into two companies. However, in my view, the exit of the previous CEO was a much bigger reason for the market’s optimism. Avi Reichenthal, who left late last year, had taken 3D Systems on an acquisition binge for the few years previous to his departure, which likely resulted in not enough resources being devoted to nurturing the company’s existing businesses.”
Another big winner this year was Swedish 3d printing firm, Arcam, which trades on the NASDAQ exchange in New York. The company has posted a gain of nearly 64% YTD, with most of the good news coming after September, around the time that the company announced sales had increased ~10%.
The other winner this year was Belgian based Materialise, which trades on the NASDAQ and is up nearly 15% YTD.
On the flip side of the coin for 2016 were Stratasys and ExOne. Stratasys — one of the technology’s true giants — lost just over 22% of its value this year and ExOne, which provides high end production in a variety of advanced materials, fell by just over 3%
2016 was also a momentous year for 3d printing in the equities markets as the first ETF focused solely on 3d printing was launched. The ETF known as PRNT holds a basket of publicly traded 3d printing companies, allowing investors to track the industry and diversify risk by owning multiple companies instead of just one or two.
PRNT is up ~9.5% since launching this summer.