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Why Is 3D Systems (DDD) Stock Soaring Today?

Although the 3D printing revolution hasn’t quite panned out like many investors expected so far, industry leader 3D Systems DDD is soaring over 13% in morning trading Tuesday after an important analyst upgrade.

Merrill Lynch gave 3D Systems’ stock the rare double upgrade, moving its rating to “Buy” all the way from “Underperform.” It has also raised the price target for the stock to $26, the highest of all analyst firms.

Shares closed at $16.60 on Wednesday, despite the consensus price target sitting at just $12.27.

Merrill Lynch announced the upgrade this morning in a conference call. Wamsi Mohan, the analyst behind the call, cited the company’s new chief executive as a major factor, arguing that he has the ability to develop a new strategy and cost structure.

“Our Buy rating on 3D Systems is predicated on the strong likelihood that the new CEO will turn around the business through a new direction and strategy… The alignment of cost structure with revenue growth, implementation of strategic acquisitions, and portfolio optimization can drive earnings expansion, even while end market demand remains subdued,” Mohan said.

Today’s upgrade comes in the wake of 3D Systems’ sale of its education-focused STEAMtrax technology to Polar 3D. Part of 3D Systems’ restructuring seems to be including a move away from consumer level 3D printers and in to the more profitable professional and industrial markets.

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