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3D printing shares are seeing red

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New Wave of Japanese Entrepreneurs Amid 3D Printing Boom

A staff of Nihonbinary shows an Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene pylon which is printed by the 3D printer MakerBot Replicator 2X during the International Robot Exhibition 2013 in Tokyo. (REUTERS/Yuya Shino)

As the broad market rallies Wednesday, with the S&P 500 hitting a record intraday high amid positive data and strong earnings, some 3D printing stocks are seeing red.

The serious bleeding started after hours on Tuesday for 3D printer maker ExOne (XONE), which sank more than 13% in extended trading hours Tuesday after the company revised its 2013 revenue guidance to the downside, citing delayed sales approvals overseas. ExOne said its 2013 revenue would come in at $40 million to $42 million, which was down from its previous estimate of $48 million (and below analyst estimates of $48.32 million).

The sharp decline continues Wednesday, with ExOne shares down 9%, to $56.40, in midday trade. Some other 3D printing-focused stocks are following suit. 3D Systems Corp. (DDD) is down 2%, to $88.87, while German company Voxeljet AG (VJET) shares are down 3% to $41.04. Stratasys (SSYS), which sank as much as 9% Tuesday following its own trimmed 2014 profit forecast, is recovering a bit today, up 4% to $124.33.

ExOne saw a downgrade to Hold from Buy, with a price target cut to $55 from $75, Wednesday at Canaccord Genuity.

[See related: With 3D Printing, the Future Is Now]

3D printers and their products, which are used heavily for industrial commercial use and comprise everything from airplane parts and building materials to edible items and artificial limbs, got lots of play during last week's glitzy Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The companies are attempting to appeal more to the mainstream consumer with lower-priced offerings, looking toward a possible "3D printer in every home" future.   

This week's stock action puts a bit of a damper on the 3D space but some could see this as a chance to buy the dip on these high-momentum shares that are up a very healthy percentage from this time last year. ExOne and 3D Systems have both soared more than 100%, while Stratasys (already seeming to see some buy-the-dip action Wednesday) is up more than 40%. Voxeljet was a sizzling IPO last October, closing more than 120% from its $13 offer price on its first day of trade.

The sector was also hit hard in late November, when a report from Citron Research questioned the reported revenue of Voxeljet. Yahoo! Finance's tech reporter Aaron Pressman noted back then, "Each of these publicly traded 'pure play' companies has its own story and they are at starkly different stages of development, of course. But the coincident stock sell-offs should serve as a warning that the storybook tales that drive any such specialty sector can come apart in a hurry."

Since then, Voexeljet's shares have risen 25%, while ExOne is up 15%, 3D Systems is up 26% and Stratasys is up just 2% (as of yesterday's close).

It should be noted that, following its downward revision for 2014, several analysts, including Piper Jaffray's Troy Jensen and S&P Capital IQ's Angelo Zino, reiterated their positive ratings and price targets on the stock. Said Jensen in a research report, "We believe increased investments into channel expansion and product development will translate to further market share gain and accelerated unit growth."

As for ExOne, while the company did slash its guidance, it also stated that not one sale was actually lost and that all delayed sales should be completed before the third quarter of 2014.

Are 3D printing stocks emerging from a white-hot bubble period or do they have further to jump? This remains to be seen but, for today, the picture on Wall Street is largely ugly.