Imagine developing a product through computer-aided design (CAD) and, by the click of the button, seeing the conception fabricated in three-dimensional form. Rapid prototyping printers make an engineer's idea a fully structured reality. From a drawing on a computer screen to a functional model, Stratasys has taken the "printer" to a whole new level.
A cool product does not a sound investment make. There are plenty of examples where hip stuff leads only to hyped stocks -- Ballard Power
This small cap with 40%+ market share, net profit margins of 12.7%, and an enterprise value (EV) of $276.9 million is looking very Hidden Gem-ish. What about growth? It's Rule Breaker-like when you consider that around 11,000 3D printers are in operation today, with 5 million more CAD workstations as potential buyers. However, the manufacturing nature of this product is such that it will likely never have rule-breaking growth rates, and with 85% institutional ownership, this stock isn't hidden.
And while Stratasys is not exactly undiscovered, it's also not undervalued. With the expectation of $1.14 in earnings per share for 2005, it has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 27 -- roughly equal to its 28% projected earnings growth. Also, with its run rate of structural free cash flow (SFCF) of $3.8 million, the company has an enterprise value that is 73 times its SFCF. This stock is not cheap no matter how you look at it.
Yet throw in the recurring revenue potential from its printer material, on top of the positives mentioned above, and this stock remains a worthy addition to any investor's watch list. I for one will be doing a double take when this hot model maker passes by my purchase price.
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Fool contributor Jeremy MacNealy digs the hip without the hype. He owns shares of FARO Technologies but none of the other companies mentioned.