It’s a weird time to be tracking 3D print-related stocks these days.
Years ago, during the hey-day of hype over 3D printing, things were easy and predictable: buy a 3D print-related stock and it would go up. Many fortunes were made, some by the very people reading this blog.
However, as expected, the hype was always going to be far overblown, and stock prices stopped rising. And then fell, as investor buzz turned in the negative direction. This drove stock prices down very significantly, probably more than they deserved. But on the other hand, the initial hype probably rose prices more than they deserved, too.
But here we are, with 3D printing stock prices at levels far lower than before. What are the analysts saying about 3D printing stocks?
Well, as far as I can see, everything. In the past few weeks I’ve seen:
- Analysts recommend buying a stock
- Analysts recommend holding a stock (not selling or buying)
- Analysts recommend selling a stock
- Analysts concerned that an investment firm bought a small quantity of a stock
- Analysts concerned that an investment firm sold a small quantity of a stock
In other words, recommendations in every direction. What does this mean?
One thought could be that the analysts might be holding stocks or options and believe the market perception is at a point where it could be influenced one way or another, presumably their benefit. This kind of thing happens all the time, but it may be more frequently seen recently.
Another thought is perhaps deeper: maybe, just maybe, this is the point at which the stock prices actually do turn around and begin to grow again.
It makes sense: if stocks are all going in one direction, one could expect to see more consistent analysis. Now, we see the ripples of disagreement over what might happen, suggesting that if nothing else, the overall velocity of stock price change has altered.
It also makes sense because the market slowdowns and stock price hits have caused most 3D printing vendors to take account of their operations and make changes to become more efficient and effective. There have been layoffs, restructuring, executive changes and more. One particularly interesting observation is that there have been relatively fewer new products emerging from the big 3D printing companies in this period.
I think this is good news; the changes made by companies should help them survive and thrive in the future. It’s likely we will see an increasing number of new product announcements in the coming year.