The service bureaus and in-house manufacturing shops worldwide are doing pretty well, for the most part. With experience they gain efficiencies, and the utilization rates for the installed RP base may be going up faster than Terry expected. This would yield fewer current sales for new systems. And, "conventional" CNC capabilities have increased so much in the past 5 years that CNC now does stuff that RP people used to say couldn't be done by CNC at a competitive cost. If these two factors are a major part of the reason for lower than expected sales and lower margins, things will improve. However -- RP is no longer a grand experiment. It is part of a mature decision making process for manufacturers around the globe.
At 03:09 PM 1/16/1998 -0700, Brock Hinzmann wrote:
>I have heard several hints in the past few weeks from various people in
>the RP industry that business may have not grown in 1997 at the rate it
>had in previous years. I guess we'll all wait to see what kinds of number
>Terry Wohlers and his associates came up with.
> The reasons for the bad numbers are not clear to me, however. Are the
>vendors of RP equipment, materials, and services so dependent upon the
>Asian market for new sales that an economic setback there has caused
>investors to devalue the stocks of RP vendors? Did the RP vendors promise
>great sales figures based on the Asian market and have those sales
>recently fallen through, which has led to a lack of confidence in the
> Perhaps the RP companies made promises of great sales that have fallen
>through for other reasons? For instance, have customers and prospects cut
>back on new product development in general? Have they gotten more
>efficient at new product development, such that they are approving fewer
>new projects, with higher market success rates, but using fewer
>prototypes? Are they switching to other prototyping technologies,
>reducing the amount of physical prototyping? Are they disappointed that
>improvements in RP technology have not occured as quickly as they want?
> Have the stocks of RP vendors declined in lock step? In other words, are
>the stocks declining for the same reasons or is it possible they are
>declining for different reasons in each case?
> Actually, none of the stocks are at the 52-week low. Are they on their
>way back up? Were the 52-week highs due to early investor enthusiasm? In
>other words, where are the current prices in relation to the mean and
>median prices over the entire 52-week period? Maybe those stock prices
>are just where they should be.
> Thanks, Al, for giving me the opportunity to jump in and ask some
>questions that have been bugging me.
> Brock Hinzmann
> KHVD07A wrote:
>>I thought that the following table of HI, LO, and current stock prices
>>for the publicly held RP companies might be of interest to those
>>participating in this list. It looks like the finanacial problems in
>>Asia have spread to this business.
>>RP Stock Prices as of 1/16/98
>> 52 week Hi 52 week Lo 10 AM on 1/16/98
>> DTM $8.50 $1.00 $2.00
>> Helisys $3.12 $0.25 $0.63
>> Stratasys$25.75 $8.00 $9.19
>> TDSC $16.25 $5.87 $6.75
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