Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Proto Labs Inc. (NYSE:PRLB) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research note released on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Proto Labs, Inc. is an online and technology-enabled quick-turn manufacturer of custom parts for prototyping and short-run production. It produces CNC machined and injection molded plastic parts. Proto Labs targets their services to product developers who use three-dimensional computer-aided design to develop products across a diverse range of end-markets. The Company has locations in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, France, and Spain. Proto Labs, Inc. is headquartered in Maple Plain, Minnesota. “

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Proto Labs in a research note on Friday, September 2nd. FBR & Co reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Proto Labs in a research note on Monday, June 6th. Pacific Crest reiterated an equal weight rating on shares of Proto Labs in a report on Sunday, June 5th. TheStreet lowered shares of Proto Labs from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. Finally, Dougherty & Co lowered shares of Proto Labs from a buy rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, August 31st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $70.40.

Shares of Proto Labs (NYSE:PRLB) opened at 56.33 on Thursday. Proto Labs has a 12-month low of $50.50 and a 12-month high of $82.06. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $56.78 and its 200-day moving average is $64.27. The stock has a market cap of $1.49 billion, a PE ratio of 32.58 and a beta of 0.51.

Proto Labs (NYSE:PRLB) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.45 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.48 by $0.03. Proto Labs had a return on equity of 13.76% and a net margin of 15.82%. The firm had revenue of $75 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $77.20 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.50 earnings per share. Proto Labs’s revenue for the quarter was up 17.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Proto Labs will post $1.83 EPS for the current year.

In other Proto Labs news, insider Arthur R. Baker III purchased 3,000 shares of Proto Labs stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 1st. The stock was acquired at an average price of $55.00 per share, for a total transaction of $165,000.00. Following the acquisition, the insider now owns 7,105 shares in the company, valued at approximately $390,775. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 8.48% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in Proto Labs by 149.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 1,446,921 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,543,000 after buying an additional 867,693 shares in the last quarter. Fiera Capital Corp acquired a new stake in Proto Labs during the second quarter valued at approximately $38,731,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in Proto Labs by 127.0% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 711,407 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,947,000 after buying an additional 398,039 shares in the last quarter. TimesSquare Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Proto Labs by 81.7% in the second quarter. TimesSquare Capital Management LLC now owns 699,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,263,000 after buying an additional 314,500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mesirow Financial Investment Management Equity Management acquired a new stake in Proto Labs during the second quarter valued at approximately $16,819,000.

About Proto Labs

Proto Labs, Inc is an online and technology-enabled manufacturer of on-demand three-dimensional (3D)-printed, computer numerical control (CNC) machined and injection-molded custom parts for prototyping and short-run production. It utilizes injection molding, CNC machining and 3D printing to manufacture custom parts for its customers.

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