Let’s all hope for the best for Sigma Labs. The Santa Fe-based firm “has uplisted … to the NASDAQ,” according to Albuquerque Business First. Under CEO Mark Cola, Sigma “develops and engineers advanced, in-process, non-destructive quality inspection systems for commercial firms worldwide seeking productive solutions for metal-based additive manufacturing or 3D printing, and other advanced manufacturing technologies.”
But there’s a dark cloud to every silver lining, and the company’s status shift is a reminder that New Mexico is woefully bereft of investable enterprises. The state does have a smattering of publicly traded corporations, but Sigma joins PNM Resources — a regulated monopoly — to comprise the only state-based companies listed on major stock exchanges.
Several of the Land of Enchantment’s other public corporations have been de-listed, while others (Santa Fe Gold, Net Medical Xpress Solutions) trade on the over-the-counter market. No offense — and as a reminder, Errors of Enchantment is not an investment-advice blog — but shares for the OTC firms are in the penny-stock range, and demand is rather limited.
For a state that prides itself on high-tech “investment” from Washington, it’s really appalling that PNM and Sigma are all we’ve got. New Mexico’s deep-in-denial pols can continue to ignore reality, but all the big-brained men and women working on nuclear-weapons systems at Los Alamos and Sandia aren’t entrepreneurial types. As Greg Mello at the Los Alamos Study Group noted in 2012: “It’s simply a fact that the economic standing of the state has not tracked lab spending. If anything, our standing relative to other states has declined as lab spending has increased.”