Once again we take a look at the valuations of the major 3D printing companies over the past week.
Publicly traded companies are required to post their financial reports, as well as appear on stock markets. From there we can calculate the total value of their company by multiplying the current stock price by the number of outstanding shares. This number is the market capitalization, and represents the current valuation of the company.
It’s a great number of compare companies, as the market capitalization can be leveraged to provide more capabilities for the company. Shares could, for example, be used as collateral for a loan. That and similar maneuvers could generate cash with which the company might undertake new projects.
In other words, “market cap”, as it is known, is quite important.
Note that our list here does not include all major 3D print companies. Not all 3D print companies are publicly traded, and thus we cannot officially know their true size, such as EOS. Others, like HP or Siemens, have very large 3D printing divisions, but are part a much larger enterprises and we cannot know the true size of their 3D printing activities.
Let’s first take a look at the major 3D printing companies on this week’s list. I consider these companies “major” because their market valuations are significantly larger than others in the space.
This week was a bit of a disaster for stockholders of 3D print companies in general. The major players saw a combined drop in value of literally one billion US dollars, a very steep fall.
The reason for this shift in value is not due to anything in particular in the industry. Rather, the market overall reacted to the news of the emergence of a new, highly transmissible variant of the COVID-19 virus in Africa. The thinking is that if this variant becomes widespread (and it likely will, as it completely displaced the delta variant in South Africa in only a few weeks), then many countries might impose lockdowns.
During the last lockdown period in Spring 2020, manufacturers were often shut down, or at least put off purchases of equipment, which led to a number of 3D printer manufacturers with excess inventory and lack of sales revenue. It’s only been this year when they have mostly caught up, but the market evidently fears a repeat scenario.
The drop in value for the leaders was remarkably consistent, mostly ranging from 5-7 percent. However, there were two exceptions.
SLM Solutions saw a drop of almost nine percent, much greater than other 3D printer manufacturers. This is a bit baffling, because the company announced rather good quarterly results, with nine month revenue up an astounding €17M over 2020, and order intake said to be up 67 percent.
Normally this should cause a boost in stock price, but it may be that investors feel the company’s reliance on very large deals due to their massive NXG-XII 600 machine (three sold in 2021 so far) may be affected greater by a second COVID-19 slowdown.
The other divergence from the week’s pattern was Shapeways, who have been on the market for only a few weeks. This week the company’s value dropped a huge twelve percent, about double the average. The good news is that their price seems to have bottomed out mid-week, and now appears to be on a bit of a rise, although their week-over-week change still landed in the negative zone.
The lesser valued companies tend to have much smaller shifts in their market capitalization because there is far less trading occurring on their stocks. The big money tends to hover around the larger players.
This week saw some negative changes, similar to the above, and likely for the same reasons.
Leader Massivit dropped a whopping eleven percent, again likely because investors see their business being damaged more from a potential lockdown than other 3D printer manufacturers. A great deal of Massivit business is related to advertising, which indeed might drop precipitously in a lockdown scenario.
MeaTech 3D dropped over five percent in value, and that seems to be in line with their now-predictable volatility. As a new company venturing into a field never before done at scale (3D printed cultured meat), this is not surprising.
We are still awaiting the appearance on the market of two other 3D print companies. One is FATHOM, a digital manufacturer, which has been developing a SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) maneuver to complete later this year. The other is Fast Radius, a digital manufacturing cloud service.
Others In The Industry
While we’ve been following the public companies, don’t forget there are a number of private companies that don’t appear on any stock exchange. These privately-held companies likely have significant value, it’s just that we can’t know exactly what it is at any moment. The suspected bigger companies include EOS, Carbon, Formlabs and SLM Solutions.
Perhaps someday some of them will appear on our major players list.
Finally, there are a number of companies that are deeply engaged in the 3D print industry, but that activity is only a small slice of their operations. Thus it’s not fair to place them on the lists above because we don’t really know where their true 3D print activities lie.