my end of year review of MVIS
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 $0.177B)
Microvision, the company that hopes to be to moving photons that Intel was to moving electrons, sort of, not quite, but close enough. Microvision is a startup company that, for over a decade, has been trying to create pico-displays, now pico-projectors, based on the simple notion of cleverly blinking red, green, and blue lasers onto a mirror the size of a computer chip as it oscillates back and forth and up and down to paint the picture. The corollary is that the same mirror can steer light onto a sensor and capture images too. In either case, the device is small, potentially cheap, takes very little power, and is a disruptive technology. So far they have a product in each market (displays - ShowWX, and bar code scanner - ROV). The company is within months and years of high end media players, displays embedded within eyewear, projectors embedded within mobile phones, and a number of other products. Currently their three main obvious problems are product delays, cheap green laser availability, and cash burn.
Microvision, and its stock MVIS, generate significant interest at each end of the emotional spectrum. They could be a colossal success, and they could also fade away like many other startups. The stock discussion groups can frequently take on the tone of emotional support groups instead of logical debate sessions.
The company historically over-promises and under-delivers, the exact opposite of what makes shareholders happy. Recently though I realized that if I ignored management's comments the company looked better. Each year they are making progress, and currently sit on the cusp of having produced, and learned from, their first main product, the ShowWX, while looking to have at least two major products available in 2011, which I am guessing will be the high end media player and the game controller.
The CEO is on record as projecting possible profitability within six months after the release of the cell phone projector, which puts profitability into mid-2012. So, maybe the cell phone version will come out in 2011. Because of product launch delays (the cell phone was expected to release before this Christmas) the company will have to raise money through borrowing or share dilution. With such a low share price it is conceivable that a reverse split may be required to maintain listing requirements.
I will continue to HOLD, but somehow I still find myself BUYing more on occasion. It is sad to say, that at least at this point, that feels like an admission of a weakness. Hopefully, and hope is a weak investment strategy, the company, the stock and my investment will succeed.
DISCLOSURE LTBH since 1999. The first shares are gone. The new ones were much cheaper. I am also a member of their VIP club, and own a first gen ShowWX that I believe is below average quality. Despite that, I use it to watch DVDs, though I usually can't read the subtitles. (late note: I just got a video streaming device, and the ShowWX doesn't have speakers, so it sits and languishes temporarily.)