Don’t despair with SEE: do more research

I must admit to having been a bit distracted by the ongoing genocide in Gaza over the past couple of months. Still, I felt it important to provide my views on the recent Kr1.55bn (US$150m) Smart Eye contract, as I know a lot of investors are rightly concerned by lack of news flow on the automotive front from Seeing Machines (AIM: SEE) – aside from a relatively small (US$15m) contract win in early November.

I do think the recent Smart Eye contract is with General Motors, as that has been the conclusion of 3 sources better placed than me to know about it (Colin Barnden, the RedEye analyst and my private source). Am I particularly concerned? Quite frankly, no. My guess is that, and it is only my guess, the contract is dual sourcing at bargain basement levels. As to the size of the contract, well SmartEye normally pump out the biggest figure they can so the lifetime value given is likely an absolute maximum.

Still, it is big positive for SEYE and I wish them well. The market is big enough for both SEE and SEYE and things are clearly hotting up in this space. 

As to SmartEye, being a Tier 1? Well, I think that is wishful thinking. Possibly a case of necessity being considered a virtue. For I still maintain my thesis that SEE takes 75% of the auto market with the Magna mirror and Valeo.  

Positives for SEE

If there is a positive for Seeing Machines, it’s that the logjam regarding larger auto contracts appears to be over. Moreover, the SEYE contract starts in 2027 so I think SEE via the Magna mirror has won a lot of contracts that will start before then.

That said, if we don’t get a big auto contract by the end of this quarter it’s definitely a disappointment. It’s particularly so given the fact that the strong likelihood of multiple contracts this quarter was flagged by both CEO Paul McGlone and his CFO, Martin Ive, in various interviews.

Still, I do believe they are honest and have been let down by OEM shenanigans re. The announcement of further contracts. My hope is that CES will deliver the news we’ve been waiting for re. Auto, with great news coming for Aftermarket with the launch of Gen 3 Guardian.

Indeed, I’ve been impressed by Ive since he joined (and not just because he looks like my younger brother). I also hear that he is cutting expenditure, as promised, to ensure SEE reaches breakeven as promised.

More effective communication

In the absence of said contract news, I’d like to see more timely and effective communication to stem the concerns of private investors. They (unlike fund managers) can’t just ring up the CEO to check on their investments. Moreover, for a private investor their investment often represents a huge proportion of their investment portfolio, not a mere 5 per cent maximum as in most funds.

I ask for this because I fear that many private investors are currently selling down their holdings because of a lack of reassurance from the company. Times for many are tough and I’d hate for private investors to miss out on what I increasingly believe will be rich rewards.

Please don’t take my word for any of this, it’s just my humble opinion and I’ve been wrong on details in the past. That said, being too early into an investment isn’t the same as being wrong. Indeed, I maintain that my original investment thesis remains intact, which is why I still hold this stock. In any case, do your own research as it will benefit you in the long run.

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines.

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