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Nanotechnology is a sector that few investors have thought about. But within the broader technology space, nanotechnology offers what could be the most profound impact on our lives.
Nanotech can best be described as any innovation that occurs at the nanoscale – or between one and 100 nanometers. Nanotechnology makes it possible to tailor the structures of materials at incredibly small scales to produce specific properties.
In other words, nanotechnology makes it possible to produce materials that are stronger, lighter, more durable, more reactive, more sieve-like, or make them better electrical conductors, and the list goes on.
According to nano.gov, 25.4 million nanometers “fit” inside each inch. For perspective, a single sheet from a standard newspaper is roughly 100,000 nanometers thick.
With its astonishingly small scale, nanotechnology is ushering in the next generation of super computers, but the application doesn’t stop there. With nanotech’s ability to manipulate down to an atom, the application of the technology can range from the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, to everyday fabrics and materials.
Consider for a moment personal body armor that provides lightweight ballistic energy deflection while also being wrinkle, stain, and bacterial growth resistant. Or nanoscale films on your eyeglasses, windows, computer or camera displays, or other surfaces, that act on those surfaces as water- and residue-repellent, and make them antireflective, resistant to ultraviolet or infrared light, self-cleaning, antimicrobial, scratch-resistant, or able to conduct electricity. All of this is made possible by nanotechnology.
As nanotechnology is perfected, it opens the door for innovations that were once impossible, making the sector an absolute must-watch as nanotech stocks may deliver tremendous gains.
Here are 3 stocks in the sector to consider.
Nano Dimension (NASDAQ: NNDM)
Nano Dimension (NASDAQ: NNDM) was founded in 2012 and is a research and development company. It’s focus is on advanced 3D printing and nanotechnology-based ink products.
This week, Nano Dimension reported its Q2 earnings results, posting revenues of $1.09 million, beating analysts’ consensus estimate of $900,000.
“Nano Dimension experienced continued success in the second quarter, as multiple sales to leading companies throughout the world demonstrated growing interest in the DragonFly 2020 Pro 3D printer,” Amit Dror, CEO of Nano Dimension, said of the quarter. “Additionally, Nano Dimension became a U.S Department of Defense certified vendor, allowing us to pursue new sales and relationships with the U.S. federal government agencies.”
Nano Dimension’s DragonFly 2020 Pro 3D Printer is becoming a game-changer and dominant player in the additive manufacturing market as it enables companies to be in control of their entire development cycle. The DragonFly enables 3D printing of functional electronics, including sensors, conductive geometrics, molded connected devices, printed circuit boards, and other devices.
Last week, the company also announced a new partnership with Fisher Unitech, a leading technology provider of 3D product development and software tools, and 3D printers. The reseller agreement will have Fisher Unitech purchase Nano Dimension’s DragonFly 2020 Pro 3D Printer making its technology available to Fisher Unitech’s large customer base.
This agreement with Fisher Unitech is Nano Dimension’s third such agreement in North America, and will significantly improve NNDM’s sales reach.
Analysts’ consensus price target for NNDM is $7.00, or 244.83% higher than today’s closing price.
3M (NYSE: MMM)
You may not think “nanotech” when you see a big name like 3M (NYSE: MMM), but the company is a leader in the field.
3M is a dividend aristocrat and represents a more stable play as it has exposure to nanotechnology as well as nearly every other major growth trend with over 60,000 products available in over 200 countries.
3M has developed nanotechnology for use in its products destined for the dental, electronics, architecture, and energy markets.
The company’s nanotech products include 3M Optical Films, Prestige, and Filtek. 3M has demonstrated nanotech’s diverse range of applications, using it for dental restoratives like fillings, crowns, and orthopedic brackets as well as using it to enhance the brightness of optical films making LCD displays brighter and more clear.
Analysts at Hilliard Lyons have set a price target for MMM at $285, or 39.7% higher than Thursday’s closing price.
Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO)
Thermo Fisher (NYSE: TMO) is a medical diagnostics and research specialist that provides biotech and healthcare firms with equipment. And as far as nanotech development goes, Thermo Fisher is at the forefront of distributing applied-science products.
In September 2016, Thermo Fisher cemented its place in the nanotechnology field by acquiring FEI Company for $4.2 billion.
With this acquisition, TMO was able to incorporate high-powered transmission electron microscopes (TEM) into the company’s ever-growing empire of analytical lab services. TEM offers the only way to image nanomaterials such as metals, living cells, and semiconductors.
After the acquisition, the segment’s sales jumped 31% to $4.8 billion in 2017, demonstrating considerable growth.
Like 3M, TMO is an established and stable company. The stock is up nearly 23% year-to-date, and has returned nearly 155% over the last five years.
Late last month, JPMorgan Chase reiterated its Overweight rating on the stock and set a price target for TMO at $300 – 28.76% higher than where the price is now.