Does HP Need to Make An Acquisition to Compete On 3D Printing?

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HP Big Gorilla

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) has a $43 billion market cap and is the largest printer manufacturer in the world. But HP has not really embraced 3D printing yet and may need to make an acquisition to truly enter the market.

Seeking Alpha describes the current situation for HP:

In April 2010, HPQ signed a collaboration agreement with one of the 3D printer companies, Stratasys to create a 3D printer called DesignJet 3D. The retail price was over $17,000 when they first came out, and it doesn’t appear that HPQ is making a giant impact with this printer.

HPQ needs to come and buy either SSYS or 3D Systems. HPQ needs to play defense, by going on the offensive. It might not seem like it, but this is the same scenario as Eastman Kodak being the 800-pound gorilla in cameras and then falling behind when the time came for digital cameras. HPQ doesn’t want to miss out on this revolution. 3D printing is within 3-5 years of becoming affordable for the general public. 3D Systems has launched a personal 3D printer for as cheap as $1300. Moore’s Law is working in the 3D printing market as prices have drop 90% in the last 5 years and will continue to drop in the future.

Look at the relative stock price of HPQ vs the current 3D printing leaders (3D Systems, Stratasys, and Proto Labs). HP is down 39% while the 3D printing portfolio is up 112% over the last 12 months.

HPQ vs 3D Printing Stocks

The market is still early. Will HP make a move this year or wait for the market to mature?


Via Seeking Alpha.

Gorilla photo by poplinre used under Creative Commons license.

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