Ridiculous as it might sound, when Seeing Machines is currently 4p a share, I believe its intrinsic value is even now well over £1 a share. This is because it will continue to dominate the automotive driver monitoring niche for the next few years at least.
Anyway, here’s my thinking in a nutshell. I’ve based my valuation on auto alone as I think that is the real driver of value with SEE (excuse that pun!).
In his note on January 16th Jean-Marc Bunce, analyst at house broker Cenkos, revealed: “Seeing Machines has a far more conservative approach to announcing automotive revenue visibility that its competitors”.
In the note he pointed out details on the deals already done. I’ve outlined my thoughts on them here:
- OEM 1 [General Motors] — Supercruise will be rolled out to entire range of Cadillacs (some 350,000 cars by end 2021). Thereafter, I’d expect it to go into most of GMs 10m cars.
- OEM 2 [Mercedes] — Programme is just for its flagship S Class saloon car, equivalent to 5% of the total cars produced.
- OEM 3 [BMW] — stated minimum contract value of USS$25m. However, BMW sells 2.3m cars a year and Fovio chip will be rolled out across the entire group.
- OEM 4 [Ford] — F-150 is a phenomenal earner for Ford and last year Adam Jonas, the famous Morgan Stanley analyst, stated the franchise could be worth more than Ford itself. It has been estimated that Ford will is planning to produce around 1m a year of these in the future. I expect Ford will also roll it out across other car models in due course. Note that Ford produced 6.6m cars in 2017.
- OEM 5 [Byton] — relatively small volumes but I’d expect them to grow and other premium electric cars to put Fovio into their offerings.
By the end of this financial year I expect SEE to have announced wins with FCA, Volkswagen and Volvo with Toyota and probably Honda following shortly after.
Alternatively, you can gain a sense of the value of Seeing Machines auto business by looking at the macro picture. Assume 70% of cars have DMS by 2022, and SEE have at least 50% of that market, with estimated global car volumes of around 110m in 2022. If SEE received US$20 a car (blended average of Fovio selling at US$30 a chip and software at US$10) that would deliver revenues of approximately US$770m a year.
If Gen 2 Fovio can maintain pricing at US$30 a car, revenues would be nearer US$1.1bn a year. EVERY YEAR!
Then, were SEE to be sold for a Mobileye-type valuation of 42x revenues it would be worth a minimum of between US$32bn to US$46bn. Note that Mobileye sold for US$15.3bn.
Now discount that back for execution risk, meteor showers etc and even the meanest industry player would probably pay at least US$5bn (£3.6n) for its strategic value and future cash flows this year. That is about £1.50 a share from its current 4p.
I know some will say that is totally unrealistic. Still, the figures are there if you dig. It has happened before to shares with far less real value than SEE.
But don’t worry, I anticipate that long before 2022 Seeing Machines will be bought by a huge company that does see the potential here. In any case, when SEE announces a couple more huge OEM wins (before the end of June) the price should start to appreciate substantially.
So why hasn’t it happened already? Well, I think the market has yet to catch up with reality. But the aroma of coffee is wafting inexorably towards its nose and it will wake up very, very soon.
Colin Barnden, Lead Analyst at Semicast Research wasn’t keen to be drawn on the exact valuation of Seeing Machines but did explain: “What is clear to me is no one is following the DMS market (the big investors still believe in autonomous driving at Levels 4 and 5). This will change soon enough and CES was a big step in that direction. Certainly the car OEMs are in no doubt. I think the delays have come about from the OEMs taking longer to decide which T1/T2 to use, and then rolling DMS out much faster than had been previously thought. All will be clearer by June.”
My fears of a low-ball bidder getting SEE on the cheap have now receded substantially, given the accelerating take up of its camera-based DMS into cars. Any such bid, if publicly acknowledged, would surely just ignite a bidding war.
The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines.