Is 3-D Printer Voxeljet's Stock Expensive After IPO?

Voxeljet's (NYSE: VJET  ) stock debuted on the NYSE today in jet propulsion mode. The stock opened at $20 and closed at $28.83, a nearly 122% gain from its original $13 pricing.   

This German company provides high-speed, large-format 3-D printers and on-demand parts production services to industrial and commercial customers. Its machines can build models and components out of several different kinds of sands and plastics.

ExOne (NASDAQ: XONE  ) is its main competitor in the sand space; both companies manufacture printers that industrial customers use to produce sand molds for casting metal components. 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD  ) and Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS  ) are its main publicly traded competitors in the plastics space.

Voxeljet's scorching IPO price action might not come as a surprise to those following the hot additive manufacturing industry. The entire 3-D printing sector is projected to grow 20% to 30% annually for the next five years. ExOne's stock soared 47% in its own February IPO.  

Voxeljet's price action seemed to benefit ExOne, whose shares traded up about 3% fairly steadily throughout the day. That looks like a vote of confidence in the two companies' high-end, industrials-focused 3-D printer space. Meanwhile, 3D Systems and Stratasys shares went basically nowhere. 

Here's how voxeljet's valuation now stacks up against its main competitors. 

Company

Market Cap

Annual Revenue (mil)

Price/Sales

P/E

P/E (frw)

Operating Margin (%)

Profit Margin (%)

3D Systems

 5.7B

415

 13.9

 131

 42.7

18.7

9.6

Stratasys

 4.3B

324

 13.2

.N/A

 45.8

1.4

(5.4)

ExOne

 777.8M

38.4

 19.8

 N/A

 120

(16.2)

(21)

voxeljet

 449.3M

11.1

 40.5

 N/A

 N/A

N/A

N/A

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

If you're interested in investing in voxeljet, now may not be the ideal time. Its price-to-sales ratio is about three times that of the two larger 3-D printing companies, and twice that of ExOne's. Value-conscious Fools might want to consider waiting until the initial IPO appeal dies down.

Powerful lift-off, but does it have staying power?
Voxeljet's IPO may attract a lot of attention, but the movements of its shares matter less than the company behind them. If you're curious about the company, check out more information on voxeljet's operations, financials, and competitive advantages.

Right now, voxeljet's shares are extremely richly valued, not only from an absolute basis, but relative to its main competitors. The company does have some potentially big competitive advantages related to machine speed, size, and configuration, but it's too early in the game to tell whether its future prospects justify this lofty valuation.

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Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (11)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On October 18, 2013, at 5:26 PM, K28hill wrote:

    Yes I agree it is expensive, but the entire 3D industry is expensive as well.

    I bought in, observing what the other companies in this market primarily XONE has done since they had their IPO, made me wish I had gotten in earlier than I did on the others.

    I view this area of the market as speculative - but the advantage is the momentum that occurs with this type of company.

    You did mention some competitive advantages VJET has and I really like this as a future advantage especially in the area against the likes of XONE.

    Meanwhile I look for this stock to skyrocket further on momentum alone. Time will tell the story on this entire industry.

    Good luck

  • Report this Comment On October 18, 2013, at 6:22 PM, TMFMcKenna wrote:

    These stocks are not for the value-conscious. However, they are fair game for folks like you who know the score.

    Check out the highlighted article link for the competitive advantages.

    Good luck,

  • Report this Comment On October 19, 2013, at 4:21 PM, kangal1999 wrote:

    TIME WASTE ALERT

    Do not click on the JEREMY PHILLIPS (CTO of Motley Fools).

    You will waste 30 minute of your life.

  • Report this Comment On October 19, 2013, at 10:14 PM, dav1949 wrote:

    I agree that was a BIG WASTE OF TIME.

  • Report this Comment On October 20, 2013, at 12:40 AM, TruffelPig wrote:

    Thank you - VJET is really expensive. I stick with the other 3 for now.

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