Desktop Metal Is Worth a Deeper Look As a Long-Term Play

Investors should note that Desktop Metal (NYSE:DM) stock is beginning to look increasingly attractive as a long-term play. The 3D printing company is rapidly growing in terms of both head count and financial metrics.

3d printer printing chips
Source: shutterstock.com/Alex_Traksel

 

To be honest, there’s probably little reason to rush out and grab a large quantity of shares currently. However, over the long term it does look like a clear winner set to rise gradually. 

There’s a fair bit of short selling interest in Desktop Metal, at 12.79% of float sold short. That, along with other short-term headwinds should keep prices lower for a while. But the company’s products look to serve multiple markets and possess broad applicability. This isn’t a simple 3D printing company, rather it’s a company with products that serve large business applications. 

In short, it has a strong chance to be a strong operator in the sector well into the future but the short term outlook is cloudy.

Recent Performance

Let’s start with Desktop Metal’s Aug. 11 earnings report to understand where the company stands financially. The $19 million of sales the company recorded in the second quarter was a 767% improvement on a year-over-year basis. And on a sequential basis Desktop Metal saw revenues increase 68% between Q1 and Q2 this year. What’s more, the company also saw its customer base increase by 44% in the same period, from Q1 to Q2. 

These growth numbers were impressive, but I’d also like to point out something that’s less apparent from those numbers. That 68% revenue growth in Q2 resulted from a 44% larger installed customer base. That implies that Desktop Metal could have little trouble in selling more expensive, value-added products moving forward. 

Just to give readers a better idea of the breadth of the company’s customers I’ll throw out some of its customers. Cartier, the watch and jewelry company, uses its machines. So too do tire company Continental, defense industry leader Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), and AspenDental

The company is hoping to expand its reach within those established markets and to continue to increase revenues. It very well may, but at the same time it must be noted that Desktop Metals isn’t perfect. 

The news is mixed regarding its outlook. Because while the company has increased revenues and footprint with several recent acquisitions, it has increased losses. 

Losses to Note

As I mentioned, Desktop Metal is growing via acquisitions as well as organically. Company headcount exceeded 500 in Q2, up from fewer than 200 a year prior. That growth coincided with the large revenue growth mentioned before. 

But at the same time, there are some clear concerns. Desktop Metal recorded a nearly $22 million EBITDA loss in the second quarter of 2020. That increased to nearly $32 million the most recent quarter. The company reiterated that it expects to exceed $100 million in revenues in 2021 in its earnings report, But at the same time, increased its expected EBITDA loss from between $60 to $70 million to between $70 and $80 million in 2021. 

That update certainly has increased trepidation surrounding DM stock on the part of the market. Yet, investors can easily counter that negativity with metrics including rapidly increasing margins for Desktop Metal. It posted -20% margins in Q4 last year. Those increased rapidly, hitting 5% in the first quarter of 2021. They’ve continued to increase rapidly and hit 25% in Q2 of this year.

Verdict

Desktop Metal is likely headed up in price over the longer term. Short term headwinds probably keep prices lower in the coming months, but the future is still bright. The company serves a wide customer base with disparate manufacturing needs. It will continue to niche down and acquire more firms and capability in specific fields.

Share prices are likely to move upward the longer investors hold DM stock, though.

On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.


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