For over two years, shares of 3D printing stocks have been scorching hot. Consider the case of 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD), one of the industry’s more recognizable names. In the roughly two and a half years since its IPO, 3D shares have more than quadrupled.
Few stocks can lay claim to a 30-month quadruple. Amazon (NasdaqGM: AMZN) cannot. Nor can Google (NasdaqGM: GOOG). 3D Systems is not the only high-flying 3D printing stock, either. Rival Stratasys (NasdaqGM: SSYS) has risen nearly five-fold in the past two years. The ExOne Co. (NasdaqGM: XONE), which went public in February, has more than doubled since its IPO.
Yet, 3D printing stocks are not heavily represented in ETFs. Perhaps the time has come to change that. Of the three aforementioned 3D printing stocks, 3D systems has the largest market value at $5.77 billion, putting it firmly in mid-cap territory, the same cap residence for SSYS. With a market value below $1 billion, ExOne is a small-cap name.
Still, just about 40 ETFs offer exposure to 3D Systems and few than 15 hold ExOne. In fact, it was revealed last month that the AdvisorShares Ranger Equity Bear ETF (NYSEArca: HDGE), an actively managed bearish fund, held a short position in 3D Systems. At the time of that report, HDGE had a roughly 1% position in 3D Systems, making for one of the largest ETF stakes, long or short, in the stock. [Active Bear ETF no Fan of 3D Printing Stocks]
However, evidence exists that suggests despite high valuations, investors still love 3D printing stocks. Voxeljet (NYSE: VJET) went public last Friday at $20 only to close just under $29. Citing that example, John Burke for Wall Street Sector Selector says “Investors just can’t get their hands on enough 3D printer stocks. At this point, there might be a strong demand for a 3D printing ETF.”
“As the 3D printing industry continues to explode, investors might soon be able to choose from a number of ETFs which would be specifically focused on 3D printer stocks,” Burke added.
There is a 3D printing index, the Stoxx Global 3D Printing Pure Play Index. The index launched in July, but there still is not a U.S.-listed pure play 3D printing ETF. The First Trust Technology AlphaDEX Fund (NYSEArca: FXL) features Stratasys and 3D Systems among its top-six holdings at a combined weight of 4.1%.
First Trust Technology AlphaDEX Fund
ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of Amazon and Google.