3-D printer deal adds depth

Stratasys on Wednesday announced the acquisition of MakerBot, a manufacturer of desktop 3-D printers. The deal had been rumored for a couple of weeks before Stratasys made a $403 million stock-based offer for MakerBot.

Bobby Burleson, an analyst for Canaccord Genuity, believes the deal is in part a defensive move for Stratasys, which is mostly known for its commercial printers. "MakerBot's 'prosumer' strategy (aimed at professional designers and consumers) posed a potential threat to SSYS' entry-level system sales and its materials pricing," he wrote.

Joly report card

Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly hosted his first annual meeting for the consumer electronics retailer last week and made a positive impression.

Brian Yarbrough, a retail analyst for Edward Jones Investment in St. Louis, Mo., told the Star Tribune that Joly "has done a good job training the employees and trying to understand the customer better." Analysts remain split on the company's prospects but recommendations have been improving. According to Bloomberg, 41 percent of the analysts now have "buy" recommendations, 44 percent have "hold" and 15 percent have "sell" recommendations.

Patrick Kennedy