3D Systems Plunges 15% and General Electric Allies With Chevron

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) was up just  0.02% in midafternoon, after Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ: ADP  ) reported that the private sector added 175,000 jobs last month. The result was less than the expected figure of 189,000. As the market continues to tread water today, here are some companies making big moves and headlines.

Inside the Dow, General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) announced this week the formation of an alliance with Chevron called Chevron GE Technology Alliance. The alliance will develop and commercialize valuable technologies for the oil and gas industry.

"Chevron's deep understanding of the oil and gas industry, combined with GE's long tradition of technology development and close collaboration with strategic partners, will uniquely position this new alliance to address the industry's technology needs," said Lorenzo Simonelli, president and CEO, GE Oil & Gas, in a press release. "The solutions developed by this alliance will take on even more industry significance given Chevron's proven leadership in being first to field-test and deploy new technology breakthroughs."

This is a good move for General Electric as it moves increasingly into oil and gas; outside of an acquisition, pairing up with Chevron will be valuable as GE continues to bet on the U.S. shale gas revolution. Investors should keep an eye on how the company evolves going forward as it distances itself from its GE Capital missteps and emphasizes its industrial roots and growing energy business.

Outside of the Dow, shares of 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD  ) plunged as much 28% in early morning trading before settling down for a 15% loss by midafternoon. The loss came after the company reported preliminary full-year 2013 earnings results and 2014 guidance, which clearly disappointed Wall Street.

The big deal was the company's 2013 expectation of adjusted earnings per share between $0.83 and $0.87, which was far below its previous guidance of $0.93-$1.03. Furthermore, 3D Systems' guidance for full-year 2014 earnings is now $0.73-$0.85, which is far below analysts' expectations of $1.27 per share.

"Consistent with our previous comments, during the fourth quarter we made very significant R&D, manufacturing and marketing investments designed to accelerate revenue growth that resulted in substantially compressed earnings for the fourth quarter," 3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental said in a press release. "As we previously stated, we are willing to tolerate earnings reduction and even slight gross profit margin compression during this period to substantially accelerate our growth rate and market share." 

For investors who missed the explosion in 3D Systems' stock price over the last couple of years, this might offer the buying opportunity you've been waiting for. Sure, the company's profitability will be lower than expected over the short term; but its long-term potential to revolutionize multiple industries can't be overlooked. Investors should keep in mind that for a young technology company such as 3D Systems, investing in its top-line growth and research and development is absolutely necessary.

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