Earlier this month, 3D Systems announced that it had appointed former Hewlett-Packard executive Vyomesh Joshi as its chief executive. On Thursday, 3D Systems shares skyrocketed as much as 19% after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock from Underperform to Buy. Bank of American Merrill Lynch analyst Wamsi Mohan also more than doubled his price target from $11 to $26.
Joshi expected to give 3D Systems a new direction
In his research note to investors, Mohan said Vyomesh Joshi had an impressive track record in turning around ailing businesses. He expects Joshi to turn around 3D Systems through a new corporate strategy and direction based on his experience as the head of HP’s imaging and printing business. Joshi had doubled profits of HP’s printing business during an 11-year period.
The analyst also expects Vyomesh Joshi to cut costs, and streamline the company’s product portfolio. These factors would help drive the Rock Hill-based company’s earnings growth even though overall market demand remains weak. Joshi served at HP from 1980 to 2012. Despite Vyomesh Joshi’s impressive track record, it is too early to say his appointment would take 3D Systems stock to anywhere close to the early 2014 levels.
Joshi yet to outline his strategy
Joshi has been the CEO of the company for less than two weeks. He is yet to outline his strategy and direction to position 3D Systems for long-term success. Bank of America Merrill Lynch said its negative stance on the stock in the past few years was based on the company’s poor mergers & acquisitions strategy and increasing investment in low-margin businesses like consumer 3D printing. 3D Systems has now exited the consumer business.
Separately, Piper Jaffray analyst Troy Jensen said in a research note that system demand remained low in the March quarter. Jensen has a Neutral rating on 3D Systems with $12 price objective. Feedback from 3D printing resellers and service bureau operators suggested that sales of printers and materials were very weak in the first two months of 2016, though sales improved slightly in March.