Seeing Machines revenues beat broker forecasts

Seeing Machines trading for the FY2023 ending 30 June, was US$57.8m, beating all broker estimates. Moreover, it points to the current financial year being a transformational one for the AI-powered, vision-tech safety company.

Indeed, my model’s prediction of revenues at $60m would have been hit had the US$3m contribution from Collins Aerospace been included. Never mind, as the money was actually received in August, it will go into the 2024 figures.

All three divisions (Auto, Aftermarket and Aviation) are doing very well and will see growth increase over the next year.

  • AUTO. There are now over 1m cars on the road with Seeing Machines DMS in them, an increase of 143% over the past year. Moreover, the numbers will accelerate as more vehicles with its tech are launched to meet the requirements of the EU’s General Safety Regulation, which comes into effect in July 2024. I still believe it will achieve a 75 per cent share by value of this global market – although, hitherto the company itself has only confirmed 40 per cent by volume and 50 per cent by value.
  • AFTERMARKET. The Guardian business had almost 52,000 heavy vehicles connected, with record sales (10,000 plus) in the fourth quarter. That represents an annual growth rate of 30 per cent but I expect a huge increase this year with the launch of its third generation offering, at a higher profit margin.
  • AVIATION. This is starting to deliver revenues following its exclusive license deal with Collins Aerospace. Aside from license revenue of $10m over 3 years, it will also receive non-recurring revenue payments to develop specific solutions, which will in turn evolve into potential future royalty payments as products are shipped to customers.

I can only agree with the comments from analyst Damindu Jayaweera at Peel Hunt who, in a note published today, concludes:

“Since initiating coverage, the company has delivered positive surprises in the form of a large aviation contract with Collins Aerospace, and this FY23E beat. With the support of the Magna contract, we see a cash runway well into FCF generation. Despite all this, the shares are back to 2018-20 levels, when it looked as if the company would run out of its cash runway. We believe this dislocation is an opportunity that investors should exploit, following in the footsteps of all the insider buying we flagged in our initiation. We reiterate our Buy rating and 12p TP.”

In my humble opinion, Seeing Machines represents that rare combination of a value play that is set for stellar growth. However, do your own research.

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines.

Seeing Machines rises in expectation of positive trading update

The price of Seeing Machines is rising in expectation of it beating consensus forecasts for the 2023 full year to 30th June, when it provides its trading update on 22nd August.

To refresh your memories, here are most of the broker forecasts for Seeing Machines FY2023. Unfortunately, I’m missing that of its house broker, Stifel. 

Brokers2023 revenues (US$)2023 adjusted pre-tax loss
Cenkos 53.5m15.2m
Panmure 56.7m13.2m
Berenberg 54.1m16.8m
Peel Hunt 53.8m17.1m
Stifel


Safestocks60m11m

I’m confidently predicting that Seeing Machines will beat these estimates and have pencilled in revenues of around US$60m for 2023. I’m not even going to provide 2024 estimates as I expect all the brokers to upgrade soon. Indeed, even their initial upgrades won’t factor in likely progress over the course of the 2024 financial year.

There is also a frisson of excitement around the launch of its Gen 3 Guardian Aftermarket product. I expect to learn the date for the launch of its Gen 3 product for trucks on 22nd August. I’m hoping it is before the end of September and is announced with at least one sizeable contract — it must have been going through its paces with existing Fleet customers.

Auto and Aviation appear to be progressing well and further positive updates could well drive the price to all-time highs by this Christmas. 

EBITDA breakeven

Furthermore, I’m expecting confirmation of further news in the coming months that should send the share price into overdrive as EBITDA breakeven is brought forward. Breakeven at the EBITDA level isn’t more than 12-18 months away based on the current trajectory. Still, I expect sales to accelerate from here to such an extent that I believe there is a likelihood that we hit EBITDA breakeven by the end of the current financial year. Should brokers publicly confirm this the share price will go gangbusters.

My confidence in the near term is also strengthened by a comment from the analyst now covering Seeing Machines at Berenberg. In a note dated 21 July, 2023 Robert Chantry stated: “We also expect the company, in the medium term, to leverage its significant knowledge pool and expertise to develop new products and adjacent technologies, particularly once it has achieved breakeven at EBITDA. This might include other types of transport, as well as revenue streams relating to marketing.”

Given that Seeing Machines always plans years ahead you can be pretty confident that what Chantry opined isn’t mere conjecture.

Here are my thoughts:

  • Transport. I believe that in the past Seeing Machines has undertaken some marine trials of its technology and we know it has been used in trains. The fast-growing eVTOL market seems ripe for such tech plus there is all manner of machinery, from tractors to cranes that could perhaps do with it. It surely is a no-brainer that SEE’s tech get’s licensed to Tier 1s in other transport sectors now that it has Auto, Aftermarket (Fleet) and Aviation sewn up.
  • Marketing. Eye-tracking has been used by competitors to assess the efficacy of marketing, for instance Tobii. As Tobii has entered the DMS space (albeit with no sign of success), it seems only fair that Seeing Machines returns the favour.

Tesla

Strangely enough, I received a press release this week from CMC Markets that mentions that Tesla is the UK’s most googled S&P500 stock, with an average of 260,180 Google searches a month. In my books that is probably a sign to sell the stock. In a saner world, those people would instead be googling Seeing Machines. 

An additional irony is that Tesla really ought to be putting Seeing Machines Driver Monitoring into its vehicles. It would stop ‘bad Ted driving’ and save lives.

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines.

Seeing Machines DMS ensures Ford BlueCruise is super safe

Last week I was privileged to be invited to test drive the 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E, whose BlueCruise hands-off driving system uses Seeing Machines’ Driver Monitoring.

I’m no motoring journalist but I have to admit the Mach-E delivered a very impressive experience using its ‘hands-off, eyes on’ assisted driving. Fortunately, I was in the company of Robert Llewellyn of Fully Charged Show fame. Aside from being good company, he’s very knowledgeable about electric cars and absolutely loved Mach-E SuperCruise, as I’m sure he’ll soon reveal in one of his videos.

This is from the presentation Ford supplied on the day:

  • BlueCruise builds on the capabilities of Ford’s Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, which can automatically keep pace with traffic within legal speed limits, right down to a complete halt.
  • Hands-free mode allows drivers to drive with their hands off the steering wheel on approved Blue Zone sections of motorway, so long as they continue to keep their eyes on the road ahead – granting an additional level of comfort during long drives.
  • Before transitioning to hands-free driving, BlueCruise-equipped vehicles confirm that lane markings are visible, that the driver has their eyes on the road and that other conditions are appropriate.
  • The system uses animated cluster transitions featuring text and blue lighting cues to communicate that the feature is in hands-free mode, effective even for those with colour blindness.

Ford is rightly proud of the vehicle and its safety record. Indeed, the company boasts that during the 2 years BlueCruise has been available in the US its 200,000 users have covered 100m miles without incident.

What Ford isn’t shouting about is that it is Seeing Machines DMS that is the reason there haven’t been any incidents, as it ensures the driver’s eyes are on the road before, during and after BlueCruise is engaged.

Tactical move widens Seeing Machines’ moat

I think the Devant collaboration announced on the 20th June is a tactical move to widen Seeing Machines’ (AIM: SEE) moat. The data derived from real-life driver experience, known as its ‘river of gold’ has hitherto protected its AI-fuelled technological lead. Now it will be augmented by a sea of computer-generated edge cases from Devant, a specialist in synthetic data generation who is focused on the niche area of in-cabin monitoring. 

This should help Seeing Machines speed up the development of DMS and future in-cabin monitoring applications that are being demanded by the industry and regulators, putting Seeing Machines even further ahead of its competitors.

Far from an admission of weakness, this move demonstrates that Seeing Machines is doing all it can to maintain its leadership position — without breaking the bank. I don’t envisage any competitor overtaking SEE within the next 3 years. Indeed, part of me wonders if we might not end up acquiring Smart Eye or Cipia eventually. However, I’m betting Seeing Machines gets acquired within 2 years.

Auto RFQ delays 

I appreciate the lack of auto OEM contract wins being announced has rattled many of us. I think it is entirely down to OEMs waiting until the last possible moment to decide how sophisticated a DMS/OMS to use, in the light of tighter EuroNCAP regulations that are coming into force in 2026 but which still haven’t been totally tied down.

This has been confirmed to me following conversations with people at EuroNCAP — sadly, I find myself curiously unable to obtain basic information from official SEE channels following scoops that have upset some people. (But, like a would-be lover suffering from unrequited love, I am still fully invested in this brilliant company).

Q&A Euro NCAP

Here’s a brief Q&A with Euro NCAP:

I understand that the EuroNCAP 2025 protocols aren’t yet out. Can you tell me:

Q. When do you expect them to be published? 

A.  2026.

Q. What exactly is the process for their iteration and publication? Is a draft put around to the industry players for comment? If so, at what stage are they currently?

A. Currently under development, discussing the new requirements and test provisions alongside industry. 

Q. Have they been delayed, if so why?

A. Initially considered for 2025, we finally decided to switch to a 3-year cycle, so starting their implementation from 2026. This was to allow sufficient development timing for protocol development and giving industry sufficient headroom for technology adoption.

Q. What provisions regarding driver monitoring are they likely to include and how advanced are they likely to be? (I know there is a roadmap but I’m not sure about the precise details of it and how it applies to driver monitoring).

A.

  • Driving under influence (2026)
  • Optimised passive restraint systems based on occupant posture and/or size (2026)
  • Increased requirements for the precision of determination on non-reversible driver states e.g., drowsiness, unresponsive driver / sudden sickness (2026)
  • Specific provisions for Assisted and automated driving (2026)
  • Link of driver state to the way ADAS functions are tested and assessed e.g., FCW/LDW sensitivity (2026)
  • Cognitive distraction / mind wandering (2029/2032)

The writer holds stock in SEE.

Forever chemicals in UK drinking water

Despite a reluctance on the part of water companies and the government to admit the risks posed to the population, irrefutable proof now exists that our tap water contains unacceptably high levels of toxic ‘forever chemicals’.

I researched and wrote this article, Revealed: Toxic ‘forever chemicals found in tap water near airports, which Open Democracy was prepared to publish. I hope the instances investigated in this article will spark public debate.

They are only a fraction of the many examples that will eventually come to light as more journalists are able to spend the time to investigate further. 

We need far more disclosure from water companies and the government to take immediate action to clean up our drinking water, which is going to cost many billions of pounds. Personally, I believe the water companies and polluters, not the general public, should pay for the costs of this.

We need far tighter regulation of PFAS chemicals and industrial pollution in general, which have contributed to a hidden public health emergency. 

Sadly, PFAS chemicals have the greatest impact on children. Thus, for the very future of this country, we can no longer ignore this problem.

The scientists quoted in the article really deserve great admiration and support for their tireless work in bringing these issues out into the open.

I hope you also appreciate and support public interest journalism.

Play your part

If you want to find out the extent to which toxic PFAS chemicals are in your tap water, and what your water company is doing about it, I suggest you make a formal Environmental Information Request to your local water company. 

You could then contact your local paper and environmental groups to help disseminate this knowledge. Working together we can make a difference and contribute to the change we want to happen.

When should you sell a share?

Buying a share is easy, perhaps too easy, but when should you sell a share?

Well, renowned investor Philip Fisher explained all about this in his book Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits. His focus on the qualitative aspects of value investing was a big influence on Warren Buffett and this book deserves a place on the bookshelf of every investor.

I’ve recently written an article for Reader’s Digest that explains when you should sell a share, drawing on the ageless wisdom of Philip Fisher. Enjoy!

Seeing Machines announces US$10m license deal with Collins Aerospace

Seeing Machines has announced its much anticipated Aviation license deal with Collins Aerospace, the world’s largest Tier 1 avionics company – as predicted here back in February

The “exclusive” and “perpetual” license deal provides a license payment of US$10m ($3m immediately and the $7m balance over the following 2 years). Collins will also pay Seeing Machines non-recurring engineering (NRE) payments to develop the solutions, evolving into potential future royalty payments as products are released to customers.

Although details as to what exactly is covered under the license were missing in the RNS, I’m hoping to eventually get some answers to those questions from the company. Or, maybe, we’ll be treated to a video of Pat Nolan taking a bow in conversation with Paul McGlone. (Certainly, both deserve a round of applause for this deal!). 

Muted response

What has really surprised me is the muted response from brokers covering the stock. None issued an upgrade, although they were all positive on the stock. Unbelievably, at the end of a huge week, the price has barely risen in response.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the 333-plane deal mentioned in the infamous ‘Italian Job’ video will materialise fairly soon. My guess is that some analysts are keeping their powder dry for that announcement. In the meantime, I can imagine paper-thin ‘Chinese walls’ mean some salespeople are telling their very special institutional clients to: “Buy, buy, buy”.

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines.

Peel Hunt initiates coverage of Seeing Machines

Peel Hunt has initiated coverage of Seeing Machines with a 12p price target in a note published last week.

In the note Analyst Damindu Jayaweera argues: “With EU regulatory deadlines in mid-2024, we are starting to see a ramp-up in requests for quotes in the DMS market. Given its asset-light, flexible opex model, this should yield a Free Cash Flow (FCF) inflection. The well-funded balance sheet de-risks medium term.”

He went on to state: “We see further potential upside, based on the following potential catalysts:

  1. Signing an aviation licensing deal,
  2. Aftermarket product sales and accompanying monitoring contracts outstripping our estimates — as management is confident they will, and
  3. A shorter runway to there being more Seeing Machines-equipped cars on the road — again management sees upside beyond our royalties earnings estimates. 

We predict that the company will be FCF positive by 2026E, supported in the meantime by its cash reserves and the Magna facility.”

Later in the note (Page 10), Jayaweera provided more details on these potential catalysts. “First, signing an Aviation licensing deal would lead to a material uptick in revenues, as we have kept them immaterial in our forecasts. Second, Aftermarket product sales and accompanying monitoring contracts have the potential to outstrip our estimates: management is confident it can achieve over 10,000 unit sales in 2H23, >10% higher than our forecast. Finally, a shorter timeline to more equipped cars being on the road would generate upside, as we have been conservative with our royalty earnings assumptions given historical delays.”

For 2023 Jayaweera predicts sales of US$53.8m with FCF of minus $41m. Sales then continue rising to $118m in 2026, with FCF cash flow of $18m.

Certainly, long-suffering private investors should take heart that more and more analysts are starting to beat the drum for DMS and Seeing Machines in particular. 

The mantra we should be chanting is: “We weren’t wrong, we were just early”.

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines.

Amati has Seeing Machines on watch

Amati Global Investors has revealed that it has Seeing Machines “on watch” in its latest video discussing Machine Vision.

In the video published today, Fund Manager David Stevenson is quoted at around 8 minutes saying that he has Seeing Machines on watch for its Smaller Companies Fund. However, he does state that the fact it is “early stage and loss-making” means he doesn’t consider it “oven-ready” for his fund.

I assume he is one of many fund managers adopting this view. The only issue they may face by deferring such an investment is that after huge contracts for Seeing Machines’ technology come through this year they’ll have difficulty purchasing stock at the current discounted price.

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines.