One of the readily apparent aspects of the 3D printing sector is the nosebleed level of forward earnings levels. Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) and 3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD), for example, have forward P/E ratios through the 2014 fiscal year at heady levels of 49.75 and 56.72, respectively — and that’s at the low end. The ExOne Co. (NASDAQ: XONE) and Voxeljet AG (NYSE: VJET) have forward multiples of 117.27 and 344.27, respectively.
Then there’s Camtek Ltd. (NASDAQ: CAMT) with a far more modest forward multiple of 17.6 as of today. But Camtek doesn’t have a 3D printer for sale yet, it only referred to a 3D printer during its November earnings conference call, saying that it was still too early for the company to estimate the impact of a planned 2014 introduction for its 3D printing device that will produce printed circuit boards (PCBs).
But it’s not too early for investors to make a move on the company’s stock. Shares closed at $1.89 on November 7th, the day the company announced third-quarter earnings. They closed at $2.65 last Friday and are trading up about 80% on Monday at $4.79.
Even a low (for a 3D printing company) forward multiple of 50, at the consensus estimate for 2014 earnings per share of $0.25 (just one analyst, but still), the stock should be worth about $12.50 a share.
Camtek sees the market for its printers at $600 to $700 million (third-quarter revenues totaled less than $22 million) and the company expects to put the device in a customer’s hands in a few weeks for testing. As the CEO noted, “[A]lthough 3D printing is a technology out there already, but 3D printing for our application, which is a functional 3D printing, has not been done yet in the world. So as far as I know we’re the first one.” Being first at anything is always a big plus.
Camtek shares are trading at $4.71 in the early afternoon Monday in a 52-week range of $1.31 to $5.28. The high was set earlier today.