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HP (HPQ) Fortifies 3D Printing Capabilities With New Steps

Zacks Equity Research

HP Inc. HPQ recently announced a series of initiatives in the field of additive manufacturing, also referred to as 3D printing.

Most notable among these announcements was its introduction of Polypropylene (PP) material for additive manufacturing — HP 3D High Reusability PP — a chemically resistant material that suits HP’s production-grade 3D printing systems. The PP material will help enhance production performance while optimizing costs, especially for customers in the automotive, consumer, industrial and medical sectors.

Notably, the new PP material is enabled by BASF, which HP recently partnered with. HP also partnered with design and manufacturing company, Oechsler, to develop applications for HP’s materials, new PP materials and HP customer Cobra Golf’s Metal Jet 3D printing technology.

Notably, HP is focusing on enhancing its 3D printing business capabilities in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Addressing the company’s efforts to leverage its 3D printing capabilities to respond to the pandemic, Ramon Pastor, interim president of 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing, HP, said, “HP and its partners have 3D printed more than 2.3 million parts to bridge supply chain gaps, enable local production, and help healthcare professionals on the front lines.”

HP Inc. Price and Consensus

HP Inc. Price and Consensus

HP Inc. price-consensus-chart | HP Inc. Quote

Peers Up The Battle Against The Pandemic

Notably, hospitals are grappling with the rapid spread of the virus and shortage of protective gears for their staff. Amid such an environment, apart from charitable donations, healthcare providers are turning to 3D printers to produce gadgets and gears in an effort to mitigate the risks faced by doctors and nurses. Rapid production of materials is making 3D printed protection gears a necessity in these difficult times.

Other additive manufacturing companies are also taking steps to leverage their expertise to combat health risks. For instance, Stratasys SSYS is printing both re-usable and disposable face shields on numerous FDM 3D printers. Moreover, 3D Systems DDD recently announced several innovation for its plastic materials portfolio to help manufacturers address a broader portfolio of applications.

Apart from the current surge in demand due to the pandemic, prospects of additive manufacturing owing to its uses in various other fields are also attractive.

Per Grand View Research, the global 3D printing market size is anticipated to witness a CAGR of more than 14% between 2020 and 2027.

Portfolio Expansion to Resurrect Printing Business?

HP has recently been witnessing declining sales in the Printing business. In the second quarter of fiscal 2020, HP’s Printing revenues fell 19% year over year due to the coronavirus-related disruptions.

Moreover, in April, Xerox XRX finally ended its long battle to takeover HP, which could have been a good opportunity for the latter to boost its printing business.

However, the company has been quite proactive and aggressively building up the business amid these challenges. In March, HP launched several digital printers and printing solutions to accelerate its transition from analog to digital printing. The portfolio of HP Indigo digital labels and packaging was created especially to be demonstrated in drupa 2020, which is scheduled to be held from Jun 16-26.

In its last earnings call, the company mentioned that it is collaborating with other companies and ramping up production of 3D printed nasal swabs to accelerate mass testing. Moreover, management said that HP along with its partners has manufactured more than 2.3 million 3D printed parts to help healthcare professionals on the front lines.

Its efforts, combined with the opportunity to bolster the 3D printing business amid the pandemic, are expected to help to revive HP’s Printing unit.

HP currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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