Camtek LTD, a company which sells automated solutions for testing and production processes used in the semiconductor manufacturing and packaging, printed circuit board and integrated circuit substrate industries, managed to generate a leap in the company's stock price with one simple phrase – 3D printing.
The stock burst came as a result of Camtek's announcement of Q3 2013 results.
"We are expecting our long-term growth plans to mature with the plant launch of our 3D inkjet solder mask printer next year. This 3D solder mask printing technology will expand our addressable market by an additional $600 million to $700 million."
And that seemingly innocuous mention of 3D printing technology by Camtek's CEO, Roy Porat, resulted in a veritable landslide of stock speculation which drove the company's stock up 70% in a single day.
Camtek acquired the GreenJet, the machine they referred to in their earnings announcement, when the company bought Printar back in 2009.
So how does renaming a 6 year-old product from the "Camtek Digital Inkjet Solder Mask Printer" to the "Camtek 3D Inkjet Solder Mask Printer" cause such a ruckus?
It instantly marked the product as a target of "3D printing" investment.
Circuit boards have been "printed" for quite some time now using a variety of different techniques, and with the recent introduction of silver nanoparticle inks, more processes are sure to appear in the near future. It's the ability to print on a wide range of substrates which has the industry buzzing, not the "printing" process itself.
But stock speculation is a wild beast, and it was the very mention of 3D printing which garnered investor attention.
You can hardly fault Camtek for jumping on board with a technology which is being defined as you read this, so until the markets are clear on what is – and isn't – "3D printing," expect more of this type of knee jerk reaction to any announcement which features the Magic Words.
With a $90M market cap and just under 500 employees, Camtek is based in Israel with offices in the U.S. and Europe.