|INTRO Here's my semi-annual exercise to see if I remember why I own the stocks I own, and so I can check back and see if their stories have changed. I post in case it helps others too.|
MVIS (market cap was $0.042B EOY13 is $0.086B mid14)
MicroVision, oh MicroVision. Ingenious and about to become successful, or possessing of some fatal flaw, or destined for something in between the extremes. MicroVision is a company and MVIS is a story stock, both based on the potential of the simple idea of building a mirror on a chip, oscillating the chip in front of light sources or sensors that allow compact projectors and cameras small enough to fit in cell phones, dashboards, eyewear, game controllers, endoscopes, and a long list of brainstormed possibilities. A simple idea, that has had tremendous technical, financial, managerial, and commercial complexities.
The pico projectors can supplement or supplant a large fraction of the global production of displays, which is a very large market. Few companies have the technology to compete at MicroVision's combination of compactness, low power usage, image contrast, and simplicity. The company has yet to launch a commercially successful product, though that was largely because of technical and manufacturing issues which supposedly have been recently resolved. Potential customers are Sony, Pioneer, a Tier One auto part supplier, a car manufacturer, and a Global 500 consumer electronics company. Even a cautious reading of the situation suggests at least two large product launches within the next 15 months, which includes possibly happening sooner. Conversations during and after the annual stockholders meeting (http://trimbathcreative.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/corporations-meet-owners-mvis-2014/) suggest the company will be profitable when they can sustain a million unit annual production rate. They expect to hit that rate in 2015. They also stated that they'd be disappointed if they were "only" making several million units per year within the next three years.
Much of the story described above has been described in previous years with a few alterations. Even among long term stockholders the company's pronouncements are taken with a high degree of incredulity and an expectation that the previous hurdles were not the last and that delays, competitive pressures, even handling success may get in the way of the company's and the stock's impressive potential. If there hasn't been a history of over-promise and under-deliver, there has been a history of misread inferences and dissimilar perspectives. A customer may be a "household name" to management, while to stockholders it is a disappointment.
Because of the disillusion, the lack of profitability, the lack of a successful product, and the 1 for 8 reverse split of a few years ago, the company and the stock are in a position to create a chorus of "I told you so" from the pessimists and the optimists. If there is no breakthrough product, the pessimists will continue their daily practice of disparaging the company; which will coincide with the stock languishing, I suspect. If there is a breakthrough product, or even breakthrough products, then not only will the optimists be saying I told you so, but new and returning shareholders will join the chorus and the demand for the stock will encounter the small supply of the stock leading to accelerated appreciation that possibly exceeds the quantitative value of the company.
Whichever way MicroVision's fortunes go should be apparent within the next six months considering their cash position, Sony's announcement about 2H14 products and MicroVision's announcement of 2H14 production capacity. But of course, I thought something similar last year, the previous year, the year before that . . .
Staying tuned because - well - MVIS is a story stock and I enjoy a good story.
DISCLOSURE LTBH since 1999 (though the very first shares are gone), and my patience is gone, yet my perseverance and majority of shares remain. I have more than enough if the company finally succeeds and the stock reaches the heights I think are possible. I may buy more simply because the stock is so cheap. (A longer post is available at trimbathcreative.wordpress.com
(I've also collected links to the other discussion boards and my other stocks over on my blog trimbathcreative.wordpress.com