March 08, 2021 - 9:32pm EST by
2021 2022
Price: 11.77 EPS 0 0
Shares Out. (in M): 153 P/E 0 0
Market Cap (in $M): 1,806 P/FCF 0 0
Net Debt (in $M): -52 EBIT 0 0
TEV (in $M): 1,754 TEV/EBIT 0 0
Borrow Cost: Available 0-15% cost

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DESCRIPTION: MicroVision is a laser beam scanning (LBS) technology company that markets its products under the PicoP brand. The company targets product applications in interactive projection, consumer light detection and ranging (LiDAR), automotive LiDAR, and augmented and mixed reality. The company has been listed since the 1990s and claims 20 years of R&D, yet has not generated more than $18mm in annual revenue during any of the last five years and only $2.7mm in the first three quarters of 2020


       Questionable Technology: The value of the MVIS’s patent portfolio is reportedly minimal at best, and the company allegedly allows patents to expire prematurely rather than paying a few thousand dollars in maintenance fees. See also the notes at the bottom on Hindenburg’s Twitter thread. Waymo and Tesla, two serious competitors, both show their autonomous driving technology actively being used in the field, whereas MVIS only shows CGI renderings

       Inability to Monetize: Since the beginning of 2015, MVIS has only generated $64mm in revenue and has posted a net loss of $119mm. It boasts 484 patents but has little to show for it. If its patents are valuable, the market does not seem to think so or management is unable to create a viable strategy to monetize them

       LiDAR Bubble: MVIS has potentially been lumped in with the explosion of public LiDAR companies / SPACs despite having a 20-year track record of what appears to be value-destructive R&D investment

       Failed Sale?: MVIS engaged Craig Hallum to explore strategic alternatives, including a potential sale or merger, in April 2020. At the time, MVIS’s market cap was sub-$30mm

       Microsoft Relationship: Speculation on internet forums suggests that MVIS has a valuable patent portfolio and that Microsoft is a long-standing customer for augmented reality modules. The same articles have tied MVIS to Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 project. If the technology is so valuable, why didn’t Microsoft buy the company when it was for sale at a fraction of its current valuation? Furthermore, Microsoft is working with GM’s Cruise autonomous unit, so if MVIS LiDAR technology was attractive all the more reason for them to purchase MVIS

       Capital Markets Access: MVIS perpetually sells stock and dilutes existing shareholders. Shares outstanding have grown from 45mm in 2015 to 146mm today

       Auditor: MVIS uses tier II (or lower) auditor Moss Adams



       Hindenburg Research: Announced a short position with a thread on Twitter in December 2020

o   IPR: Hindenburg claims that the patents haven’t been through inter partes review challenges yet, which greatly reduces their value to a potential buyer

o   Microsoft: Hindenburg linked to an article where Microsoft denied they are buying MVIS

       White Diamond Research: Published a short report on MVIS in August 2020, stating that MVIS’s own financial advisor said that the Microsoft rumors don’t make sense; and that MVIS admitted the stock rally is retail

       Forbes LiDAR Article: A two-part article (part 1, part 2) on the LiDAR space spells out the possibilities and challenges in the LiDAR market

o   Competitive Landscape: The author spells out the 9 criteria he believes a LiDAR company will need to survive. Viewed in light of these criteria (e.g. committed customers, demonstrated AV reliability, relationships with OEMs), MVIS’s prospects are not promising

I do not hold a position with the issuer such as employment, directorship, or consultancy.
I and/or others I advise do not hold a material investment in the issuer's securities.



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