3D Systems Still Overvalued, Despite Upgrade

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Financial services firm Stephens Inc. upgraded its rating on shares of 3D Systems Inc. (NYSE: DDD) Tuesday morning from Equal Weight to Overweight. The research firm has not established a price target on the stock, on which it initiated coverage in mid-January.

The consensus price target on 3D Systems is around $86.60, and the stock closed at $63.90 on Monday night. The implied upside on that closing price is around 35%, and that is value trap territory. The company’s forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is more than 53, and its 12-month trailing P/E is nearly 144. Its sales multiple is 12.85.

Competitor Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) sports a forward P/E ratio of 38.6 and consensus price target of around $145.60. At Monday’s closing price of $112.41, the implied gain on Stratasys stock is about 30%, and the sales multiple is 11.43.

The two companies have taken different approaches to growth. 3D Systems has been a serial acquirer, making a host of bolt-on acquisitions over the past few years. Stratasys also has grown through acquisitions, but they have been fewer, bigger and more targeted.

Even this brief comparison of the share price performance leads to the conclusion that both stocks may be overvalued, and that 3D Systems may be overvalued more than Stratasys. Tuesday’s ratings upgrade did not give 3D Systems much of a boost.

Shares of 3D Systems were up about 0.4% in the first hour of trading Tuesday, at $64.23 in a 52-week range of $27.88 to $97.28.

Stratasys shares were up about 0.2%, at $112.72 in a 52-week range of $67.03 to $138.10.