Can 3D Systems, Voxeljet, and ExOne Bounce Back?

It was a rough week for nearly all of the publicly traded names in 3-D printing.

3D Systems (NYSE: DDD  ) , ExOne (NASDAQ: XONE  ) , and voxeljet (NYSE: VJET  ) tumbled 12%, 12%, and 10%, respectively, on the week.

Even the always-volatile Organovo (NYSEMKT: ONVO  ) -- the 3-D bio-printing pioneer with the ambitious goal of bio-engineering a proxy for human tissue and eventually organs that could be used, at the very least, for drug testing -- took a huge 18% hit last week. 

Citron Research played a hand in the niche's slide. Citron's Andrew Left was talking down Organovo on CNBC's Fast Money on Tuesday. He drew attention to accusations of Japan's Kanagawa cold-calling investors to hype the stock. Organovo countered with a statement to CNBC refuting the claims, but the damage was done. 

Later in the week, Citron published another negative note on 3D Systems. It didn't help that 3D Systems had been the subject of a Credit Suisse downgrade to kick off the trading week. Citron's latest note argues that its shares can fall to $56 in the near term, but this isn't the first time that it has gone after 3D Systems. 

Citron issued a bearish report on 3D Systems last Valentine's Day. 

"When it comes to calling out a bubble stock, we are yet to be wrong," it noted early in the piece. Well, even after last week's slide, 3D Systems is kicking off this new trading week 83% higher. 

The big gains in 3-D printing stocks last year can't be ignored. ExOne and voxeljet went public in 2013, and the stocks closed well above their initial prices. 3D Systems and Organovo moved 161% and 326% higher, respectively, last year. All four of the stocks have moved sharply lower this month, but not to the point of eradicating most of last year's gains.

Now, I did mention that it was a rough week for nearly all of the 3-D printing names. Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS  ) was the lone holdout on the week. It rose modestly during a down week for the market. Naturally, it helped that as Credit Suisse was downgrading 3D Systems -- a move that sent smaller players ExOne and voxeljet lower -- that it also upgraded Stratasys. It was singled out as the more attractively valued 3-D printing play, and Credit Suisse even boosted its price target on Stratasys from $128 to $144.

The one thing that is certain is that all five of these stocks will continue to be volatile. Organovo will be feast or famine for investors until it proves the viability of its ambitious goals. It's a different scene for traditional 3-D printing. ExOne is expected to join voxeljet, 3D Systems, and Stratasys in profitability this year, but they all still trade at lofty income multiples. The premium is the result of the upside potential of 3-D printing in the years to come, but that faraway goal is going to create wild price swings along the way. It's been a bad week -- and a bad month -- for 3-D printing. These stocks won't be standing still in the weeks and months to come.

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  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2014, at 1:05 PM, fibonacci4 wrote:

    I can't believe that Citron is still in business. The lies that Andrew Left spreads are criminal...I'm surprised they haven't been shut down for good!

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2014, at 1:22 PM, Yrral wrote:

    Left is like the weather forecaster whose forecast is always the same. He has been trying to ding DDD for a year, and on SOME days, he's right. But an 80%+ rise in that year means that he didn't have any idea what he was talking about.

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2014, at 1:24 PM, Iamfool4mo wrote:

    Fibonacci4, well said!

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2014, at 2:58 AM, Pietrocco wrote:

    Fibonacci, your name implies a laudable love for mathematics and discovery.

    Would you please support your very strong comments about Citron and Mr. left with some facts??

    Rick, we agree that 3d printing stocks will continue to be volatile.

    Would you analyse any of the points raised in the Citron report?

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2014, at 10:49 AM, badeconomy wrote:

    Citron and andrew left were down $ for the year on 90% of their shorts in 2013,they would not release the total $ amount they lost. Short investors billions dollar stronger than little andrew left lost over 70% on their short position, so if you would have bet against them you would have make a lot of money specially on 3d companies.

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Rick Munarriz

Rick has been writing for Motley Fool since 1995 where he's a Consumer and Tech Stocks Specialist. Yes, that's a long time. He's been an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and a portfolio lead analyst for Motley Fool Supernova since each newsletter service's inception. He earned his BBA and MBA from the University of Miami, and he now lives a block from his alma mater.

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Related Tickers

9/2/2015 1:03 PM
DDD $12.89 Up +0.05 +0.39%
3D Systems CAPS Rating: ****
ONVO $2.57 Up +0.12 +4.90%
SSYS $28.72 Down -0.18 -0.62%
Stratasys CAPS Rating: ****
VJET $5.92 Down -0.07 -1.17%
XONE $7.00 Down -0.16 -2.23%
ExOne CAPS Rating: ***