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Robotics ETF has a 10% 3D Printing Tilt


Few sub-sectors have been as hot in 2013 as 3D printing and as investors have bid these stocks higher and higher this year, there have been precious few dips on which to buy.

Not surprisingly, 3D printing equities sport many of the hallmarks of previous high-flying growth stocks. Optimists say the industry is home to disruptive, game-changing technology. Critics point to frothy valuations and the potential for a vicious bubble. For example, 3D Systems (DDD), one of the group’s marquee names, trades 71.3 time forward profits and 20.2 times sales.

Even with all the hoopla surrounding 3D printing stocks, ETF sponsors have yet to take the plunge on a specific ETF for the sub-sector, although the Stoxx Global 3D Printing Pure Play Index exists. [Not Quite a 3D Printing ETF]

Still, the new Robo-Stox Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (ROBO) is benefiting from its exposure to 3D printing names. ROBO, which is just over two months old, already has $36.2 million in assets under management. That total is even more impressive when considering ROBO’s issuer announced less than three weeks ago the ETF had topped $25 million in assets. [Robotics ETF Quickly Attracts Assets]

ROBO is not an explicit 3D printing ETF. Actually, it is not even close to being a 3D printing ETF nor is it positioned in such fashion. However, ROBO is up 7.1% since Nov. 6, outpacing the Nasdaq Composite along the way, and it is not unreasonable to say its status as the “as good as it gets 3D printing ETF” is helping the new fund.

As of Dec. 27, ROBO’s 3D printing exposure was as follows: a 1.46% weight to ExOne (XONE), 2.71% to Faro Technologies (FARO), 0.88% to Dassault Systems (DASTY), 1.33% to Arcam (AMAVF) and 3.46% to 3D Systems, according to issuer data.

3D Systems and Faro Technologies are ROBO’s largest and third-largest holdings, respectively. All told, ROBO has an almost 10% weight to 3D printing stocks, making it a de facto 3D printing ETF of sorts and levering the fund to the sub-sector’s future upside (or downside).

Robo-Stox Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF