Why ExOne Shares Continue to Soar

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of 3-D printing start-up ExOne , which went public just last week, continue their impressive debut performance with a 7% gain today, after rising nearly 11% on the open.

So what: ExOne has had one of the better debuts in recent memory. On its first day, the stock rose nearly 50%. On the second day of trading, ExOne's shares rose another 20%. Interest has not waned in 3-D printing stocks at all, even as ExOne has earned just $15.9 million in revenue and has endured $11.1 million in adjusted losses for the first nine months of 2012. That annualizes out to $20.2 million, which gives ExOne a price-to-sales ratio of 19.4. For comparison, larger competitors 3D Systems and Stratasys have P/S ratios of 11.9 and 9.5, respectively. Unlike ExOne, both are profitable.

Now what: It's clear that 3-D printing mania has not yet run its course. As my colleague Steve Heller pointed out last week, ExOne has only six printers in its backlog, worth a total of $7.8 million. ExOne's focus on metal fabrication helps it stand out somewhat from its peers, but selling million-dollar metal-using printers in the single digits each year isn't going to justify the company's current market cap. Is 3-D printing the new dot-com bubble? Probably not, but the exuberance is starting to look a bit irrational.

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3D Systems is at the leading edge of a disruptive technological revolution, with the broadest portfolio of 3-D printers in the industry. However, despite years of earnings growth, 3D Systems' share price has risen even faster, and today the company sports a dizzying valuation. To help investors decide whether the future of additive manufacturing is bright enough to justify the lofty price tag on the company's shares, The Motley Fool has compiled a premium research report on whether 3D Systems is a buy right now. In our report, we take a close look at 3D Systems' opportunities, risks, and critical factors for growth. You'll also find reasons to buy or sell, and receive a full year of analyst updates with the report. To start reading, simply click here now for instant access.

The article Why ExOne Shares Continue to Soar originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Alex Planes holds no financial position in any company mentioned here. Add him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter, @TMFBiggles, for more insight, and occasional attempts at comedy.The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of 3D Systems and Stratasys and has options on 3D Systems. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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