Rumors and Speculation Swirl – Is Stratasys (SSYS) About to be Bought Out?

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I hate getting caught up in the rumor mill, but at the same time this could be major news. There are a few sources indicating that Stratasys may be about to be bought out. Takeover chatter started back in February and ssys-1quickly died out within days. Bloomberg at the time, suggested that Hewlett Packard or Seiko Epson Corp could have interest in the company. However, Stratasys’ stock was trading at $121 per share in February, making it a bit too expensive for acquisition consideration.

Here we are a few months later, and rumors have once again begun to pick back up. This morning Theflyonthewall.com reported that there were takeover rumors spreading through the market. Also, RanSquwk sources noted unconfirmed takeover interest in Stratasys today.  Active call volume on the stock also suggests that  traders  are taking positions for a large price movement in the future. Shares of Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) hit a low for the day, at $90.41 per share at around 10:50 AM EST. Within a 30 minute period, shares spiked 3.4% to $93.49, as rumors began making their way to those trading the stock.

Walmart has been a company whose name has been thrown around in regard to these latest rumors. Last week at the Code Conference their CEO, Doug McMillon was quoted as saying the following, regarding possible acquisitions. (Note that these comments were made within minutes of McMillon stating that he was very interested in 3D printing.)

“It’s clear we need to change, and we need to change fast,” said Mr. McMillon.“We’ve been more acquisitive lately, especially for talent. Our pace of acquisitions, I think, is going to accelerate.”

When asked specifically if any of these acquisitions would be related to 3D printing, McMillon’s reply was, “it might make sense.”

ssys-feat

Stratasys is trading well under its all time high of $138.10 earlier this year, and has a market cap of approximately $4.5 billion, one that’s lower than that of key rival 3D Systems. Becuase of this, there may not be a better time for an acquisition than right now. It will be very interesting to see if these rumor develop futher over the next week or two, or if they fizzle out like those of the past. One thing is clear however, and that is that an acquisition of Stratasys would instantly turn any acquiring company into one of the leaders within the 3D printing space, both from a consumer and manufacturing standpoint. What do you guys think? Is a Walmart, or another major corporation about to acquire Stratasys? Let us know your opinion in the Stratasys takeover rumor forum thread at 3DPB.com
[Image Source: NASDAQ.com]

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