Cathie Wood’s New Space ETF ARKX Bets Big on 3D Printing

Cathie Wood's ARKX fund devoted to space exploration is heavy on 3D Printing. Screenshot from YouTube.

Investor Cathie Wood‘s long-awaited space ETF, ARKX, is betting the future of space exploration hinges on 3D Printing.

Wood launched the new ETF on Tuesday. While several of the holdings are engineering and industrial giants (such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing), the index fund’s top two biggest positions include heavy 3D printing players: Trimble (8.3%) and ARK’s PRNT ETF (6.1%).

Trimble is a favorite stock of Wood’s, and is already one of the top positions in ARK’s Autonomous Technology and Robotics ETF. Although the company does work in solutions architecture, such as using satellites to assist farmers, it also owns SketchUp; a 3D printing software featuring a library of user-generated designs which can be placed virtually via Google Earth.

Launched in 2016, ARK’s PRNT fund “is designed to track the price movements of stocks of companies involved in the 3D printing industry.” The ETF’s top positions include manufacturer ExOne and tech giant Hewlett Packard.

Even as 3D printing companies struggled to find appropriate markets, Wood recognized their value, especially related to aerospace and industrial design.

“It’s in the valley of despair,” Wood told CNBC’s last May about 3D printing. “Many stocks are down 80 to 90% from their highs because their focus was on the consumer space and not on the industrial space… Now that the FAA is approving it, 3D printing can cut those costs by up to 90% as well as lower the weight and form factors of the various parts in engines and shrink the number of parts… Given the turmoil and trouble it’s in right now, aerospace is going to seek out even more aggressively some of these new technologies that are going to help it get back to profitability.”

Wood’s profile grew after ARK’s flagship innovation fund (ARKK) produced 150% gains for investors during the coronavirus pandemic—most of the firm’s heavy tech positions benefitted as the economy emphasized remote work and software-as-a-service applications like Zoom. As of writing, ARK Innovation is down early 9% this year due to a rotation out of technology names into value stocks and previously distressed sectors, sparked by rising interest rates.

The ARKX ETF Holdings Include:

  1. Trimble – 8.3%
  2. Ark’s The 3D Printing ETF – 6.1%
  3. Kratos – 5.6%
  4. L3Harris – 5%
  5. JD.com – 4.8%
  6. Komatsu – 4.6%
  7. Lockheed Martin – 4.5%
  8. Iridium – 4.3%
  9. Thales – 4%
  10. Boeing – 3.6%

Disclosure: the author of this piece owns some shares of ARKK, PRNT, and Boeing.