Short Sellers Scrambling in 3D Printing Sector

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24/7 Wall St. continues to track the short interest changes in the primary 3D printer and services companies. After all, they have been highly targeted by short sellers, as many investors are still under the impression that this is a fad. The following information is based on data for the period that ended December 31.

The short interest in 3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) fell handily, down almost 9%, to 14.69 million shares as of December 31 from 16.17 million shares on December 13. The 3D printing leader’s stock is up well over 100% in the past year, and its stock gain seems to be flushing the short sellers out of the trade. To prove a point, this appears to be the lowest short interest in the past year for 3D Systems, and its short interest has been cut almost in half from the peak in August when the short interest was some 28 million shares. 3D Systems trades at $94.45, and its 52-week range is $27.88 to $97.28. Its market cap is now within about $250 million of hitting the $10 billion mark.

Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) saw its short interest drop a sharp 16% to only 1.59 million shares. This was also the lowest short interest of the last year, and it is now only about one-third of the 4.4 million share peak in short interest in June. At $133.65, the 52-week range is $60.20 to $138.10.

Proto Labs Inc. (NYSE: PRLB) saw only a small drop in the short interest, down to 2.98 million shares from 3.02 million shares. This stock has also virtually doubled from its lows, but shares have pulled back from the highs seen in October and November. At $73.77, it has a 52-week range is $38.08 to $89.97.

The ExOne Co. (NASDAQ: XONE) saw a slight uptick in its short interest to 3.36 million at the end of December, versus 3.32 million shares in mid-December. Its short interest remains much more elevated as a percentage of the float, and at $66.99 its 52-week range is $23.50 to $78.80. Its stock has also pulled back from highs but is obviously still way up from its lows.

Voxeljet A.G. (NYSE: VJET) is still rather new in the 3D sector, with its listing being the most recent, but the short interest has been steadily rising here. The short interest at the end of December rose to 2.24 million, up almost 5% from the 2.14 million shares short in mid-December. Its share price is up more than 100% from its lows, so the short interest here is likely to remain. It trades near $44.11, and the post-IPO range is $19.30 to $70.00.

Share prices in the 3D printing companies have been very strong for the past year. That makes these battleground targets between momentum investors and short sellers. So far, the momentum investors seem to still have the upper hand, but valuations are also very high.

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