What happened

Shares of Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) declined 17.5% in October, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. However, they're already up 24.7% in November, through Friday. In 2018, they've gained 19%. 

For context, shares of main rival 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) plunged 36.1% in October, are up 6% so far this month, and have jumped 48.2% this year. The S&P 500 fell 6.8% last month, has returned 2.7% this month, and has returned 5.4% so far this year, through Friday.

A blue roller coaster about to go down a decline in the tracks, with a blue sky in background.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Stratasys didn't release any negative news last month, nor did any notable negative news about it come out. So we can largely attribute Stratasys stock's subpar performance in October to the general tough market conditions. The S&P 500 declined 6.8%, with many stocks in the technology realm suffering worse losses.

It's also likely that 3D Systems is partially to blame. On Oct. 31, Stratasys stock declined 5.2% and 3D Systems stock plunged 28.8% after 3D Systems released third-quarter earnings the afternoon before that were worse than Wall Street and many investors were expecting. Some investors likely feared that 3D Systems' weak results didn't bode well for Stratasys' results.

As it turned out, their fears were largely unfounded. On Nov. 1, Stratasys released third-quarter results that, while far from strong, at least beat the Street's expectations on the bottom line. In the quarter, revenue increased nearly 4% year over year, GAAP loss per share narrowed significantly, and earnings per share (EPS) adjusted for one-time items jumped 38%.  

Here's the year-to-date 2018 picture for Stratasys stock for folks (like me) who like to see stock charts.  

SSYS Chart

Data by YCharts.

Now what

At this point, there's no good reason for investors to change whatever investing course they've chosen with respect to Stratasys stock. As I concluded in my Stratasys earnings article:

Certainly, Stratasys made good progress in the quarter with GAAP EPS nearly breakeven and adjusted EPS solidly increasing. That said, keep in mind a sustainable turnaround will depend upon the company being able to profitably grow revenue -- and while there was revenue growth in the quarter, it was a modest 4% year over year. 

Beth McKenna has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems and Stratasys. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.