3D Printing to The Rescue? 4 Stocks to Beat Coronavirus Woes

Nilanjan Banerjee

The rapidly growing number of cases of coronavirus-infected patients across the globe has roiled the equity market. With the virus gradually engulfing the world, there arises a heightened need for medical gear for COVID-19 patients and front-line healthcare workers. To this end, the 3D printing industry is now stepping up to combat the pandemic.

Governments Extend Lockdowns to Curb Coronavirus

In view of the coronavirus outbreak, which is classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, more governments across the world are extending strict nationwide lockdowns.

Per compiled data of Johns Hopkins University, the virus was first detected in China late last year and the total number of infected people across the world totaled 532,253, as of Mar 27. The virus has already spread across 176 countries, killing 24,072 people, the compiled data suggests. On the brighter side, the data shows recovery of 122,627 infected people.

3D Printing Steps In

Hospitals are now grappling with the shortage of protective gears for its staff. To meet the mounting demand, the 3D printing industry has started utilizing their tools in completely new ways. The additive manufacturing industry is stepping up to make protective equipment that include face shields, hands-free door openers, among others, for medical providers. For patients, the much-needed ventilators are also being made by additive manufacturing companies.

Stocks in the Watchlist

We are presenting one stock with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and three with a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) that are well positioned to gain amid the current scenario. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, HP Inc. HPQ is building 3D printed hands-free door openers, mask adjusters and face shields, with more than 1,000 already being supplied to hospitals. The company stated that its research and development centres are prioritizing to rapidly increase production for meeting the most urgent needs. Currently, the stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and is likely to see earnings growth of roughly 8% in fiscal 2020.

Stratasys, Ltd. SSYS, headquartered in Eden Prairie, MN, is also leveraging their expertise to combat health risks. For instance, the company has decided to manufacture clear plastic shield and 3D-printed frame that will allow health workers to cover their face entirely. The stock, with a Zacks Rank of 3, is likely to witness earnings growth of 24% in the next five years compared with the industry’s expectation of 15.3%.    

Relying on its 3D printing capabilities, Ford Motor Company F is going to manufacture plastic face shields. The Dearborn, MI-based automotive giant has projected the production rate of face shields to be more than 100,000 units per week. The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #3.

Volkswagen AG VWAGY is in talks with authorities and has established an international task force to explore options. The German carmaker, with a Zacks Rank of 3, is exploring the possibilies of leveraging its industrial 3D printers for building hospital ventilators and medical gear.

The Hottest Tech Mega-Trend of All

Last year, it generated $24 billion in global revenues. By 2020, it's predicted to blast through the roof to $77.6 billion. Famed investor Mark Cuban says it will produce ""the world's first trillionaires,"" but that should still leave plenty of money for regular investors who make the right trades early.

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