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Emerging Markets

Why 185% Gains Are Just the Beginning For 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD)

Loose lips sink ships. Or at least they try to…

Take the case of 3D Systems Inc. (NYSE:DDD). Investors who bailed on the stock recently – and there were a lot of them – missed a great rally on Tuesday. That 8.5% gain on heavy volume put the stock among the top 20 gainers of its exchange.

It would be easy to chalk that gain up to the market's overall rally that day.

No doubt, investors were thrilled to see evidence that Washington just may solve its budget impasse before we go over the "fiscal cliff." But that's not what's really going on here…

As I see it, DDD's rebound earlier this week was sweet justice indeed.

Or perhaps even revenge.

See, the stock had recently come under huge selling pressure after the financial advisory website Seeking Alpha slammed the company last week. An article on Seeking Alpha questioned the firm's huge recent sales growth, accusing management of "hiding something."

I've analyzed publicly traded firms for more than 30 years and I can tell you – that is a very serious charge.

In response, 3D Systems made the unusual move of holding a conference call to dispute Seeking Alpha's critique. Senior managers gave analysts an on-the-record look at the firm's accounting practices.
This call ranks as a key event in the recent history of 3D Systems' stock, which is up more than 185% so far this year. (Like I keep saying, you really can make a lot of money in this field.)

That's why I'm telling you, you have to be very careful who you listen to about tech stocks. So, let me take a moment to tell you what's really going on with DDD.

Here are three reasons I think DDD has the potential to blow that 185% gain out of the water.

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Emerging Markets Stocks 2013: Don't Miss These Next Waves of Growth

Amid a turbulent market environment in 2012, emerging markets stocks have been, well, turbulent.

Some markets (Colombia, Mexico and Thailand to name a few) have performed well. Others have disappointed (Brazil and Russia stand as two laggards.)

But as Money Morning Global Investing Strategist Martin Hutchinson explained last week, economic growth has shifted to these developing economies.

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Why to Expect Higher Silver Prices Before 2013

As the week comes to an end, Comex December silver prices are trading at $32.45, a slight decline from yesterday. For the week, prices are off about 1%.

Recent economic data and concerning news from abroad have hit precious metals this week, leading to their declines.

Gold has been stealing headlines as fear surrounding the fiscal cliff drives investors to seek safer assets. Should Congress and the president not reach an agreement by early next year, this will provide an opportunity for gold to shine.

But the white metal, with its volatility and recent high prices, can hold its own and also has the potential to increase in the short-term due to a few reasons.

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How to Profit From Greenland's Rare Earth Metals Bonanza

Greenland is a treasure trove of rare earth metals.

For millennia nearly all of this massive island was buried more than a mile deep in glacial ice, making its rich mineral resources almost impossible to extract.

But in recent years, Greenland's ice has started to retreat, with summer melts becoming more extensive each year.

That has made Greenland's rare earth metals (as well as a variety of more conventional elements, such as iron, nickel and gold) much more accessible — and mining for them far more economically feasible, particularly in its southern tip.

"This is huge; we could be mining this for the next 100 years," Eric Sondergaard, a geologist with the Australian-owned company Greenland Minerals and Energy, told The New York Times. Greenland Minerals and Energy (OTC: GDLNF) controls the vast Kvanefjeld project, estimated to hold 10.5 million tons of rare earth ore.

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Jack Welch on Natural Gas Companies: It's "Like the Internet in 1990"

Without unnecessary regulations, natural gas companies could trigger the next great American century, says Jack Welch.

In an interview on CNBC's Squawk Box, Welch explained why he believes an energy-rich and independent America in the 21st century could create a bigger boom in the economy than the Internet did in the late 20th century.

"We have a chance in this country to make this the American century," Welch said. "This gas thing is huge. The gas that we have found is in the first inning – it's like the Internet in 1990. This is the first inning of a great American century."

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The Hottest 2013 Natural Gas Story You've Never Heard

The story for natural gas companies in 2013 is an improving one.

As Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors explained last month, he believes natural gas prices in the U.S. will come back strong next year.

But the natural gas story is not just an American one.

Ask the average energy executive what region he or she is really excited about today and the answer you will get is one that was not even on many companies' radar a few short years ago – and one of which many investors are unaware.

2013 could be the year when investors become aware of the vast potential of the prolific natural gas fields in this region, potential that will be unlocked when gas from those fields is someday turned into liquefied natural gas (LNG) and sold to the energy-hungry markets of Asia.

I'm talking about the offshore waters of East Africa.

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Why Silver Prices in 2013 Will Continue to Perform

If asked to name the top performing commodity of the past decade, not many would answer silver because of its notorious volatility.

Yet, according to Lloyds TSB, silver prices have delivered the best gains since 2002.

Lloyds data shows that the shiny metal soared 572% over the past decade, beating gold's rise of 428%, which was second best among commodities.

Lloyds said silver beat gold because "[I]n addition to being perceived as a safe haven investment, high demand for industrial uses has also contributed to the strong rise in the price of silver."

The key question for precious metals investors is whether silver will continue to be a good performer in 2013.

Money Morning's Global Resource Specialist Peter Krauth thinks so. He forecasts that silver prices will hit "north of $60 per ounce" by spring.

If his forecast is on target, it bodes well for both holders of silver bullion and coins as well as for holders of ETFs such as the iShares Silver Trust (NYSE Arca: SLV).

Here are five key factors that show why Krauth's forecast for silver prices in 2013 could be right on the money.

Silver Prices in 2013: New Industrial Uses

One positive for silver has to be the aforementioned industrial uses.

At last month's Denver Gold Forum, the CEO of silver producer Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL) Phil Baker made an interesting observation.

He said there was a parallel to what happened to silver usage at the turn of the 20th century to what is happening today. At that time, photography became a major driver of demand of the silver market.

This time though Baker believes it will not be one industry solely driving demand, but a myriad of new users of silver looking to take advantage of the metal's unique properties (such as electrical conductivity) in the electronics and medical fields among others.

Silver's expanding usage in a large number of industries may help to offset the general weakness in the global economy.

Investment Demand for Silver

Another factor favoring silver prices is the continued investment demand for the precious metal from the average person around the world, due in large part to central bank policies.

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This News Out of China Supports Higher Silver Prices in 2013

A new report this week by the Beijing Antaike Information Development Co, an information center on the Chinese metals and industries markets, provided some good news for silver prices.

According to the company, analysts forecast China's silver demand to increase as much as 10% in 2013 from investors looking to preserve their wealth.

In an Oct. 22 Bloomberg News interview, Shi Heqing, an analyst at Beijing Antaike, said silver's demand could increase to 7,700 metric tons next year after incurring a 6% to 8% rise in 2012.

Where's the demand for silver coming from? Around 33% is from jewelry and coins, with the remainder in industrial use for photography, solar and electrical appliances, said Antaike analysts.

This is a record level for Chinese silver demand – and good news for silver investors since China is the world's second-biggest user of the metal.

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