MicroVision (NASDAQ:MVIS) is climbing dramatically in trading Wednesday, boosted by Reddit chatter around the company as well as renewed investor interest in LiDAR technology more broadly. MVIS stock is up more than 20% on significantly higher trading volume today and currently has a short float of 31%.
MicroVision was the most mentioned stock ticker on r/WallStreetBets over the past 48 hours, according to Unbiastock. That means MVIS beat out Reddit darling Gamestop (NYSE:GME) as well as Clover Health (NASDAQ:CLOV), which has been targeted by retail investors looking for the next big short squeeze due to its 34% short float.
MicroVision also likely has competitor Luminar Technologies (NASDAQ:LAZR) to thank for some of the day’s gains, following an announcement by LAZR that executives from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) would be joining the company. While those executives are coming on board to handle investor relations and legal counsel, nabbing executives from two household-name tech titans was sure to renew interest in LiDAR technologies.
In particular, the vote of confidence from an ex-Tesla employee looks good given CEO Elon Musk’s repeated denouncement of LiDAR. Musk has gone so far as to say he wouldn’t use LiDAR sensors in Tesla vehicles even if they were free.
However, investors shouldn’t get caught up in the excitement yet. Consider this cautionary tale from someone who bought MVIS near its February peak and is currently sitting on a 49% loss. And remember, LiDAR stocks had a tough go of things in March. Part of their relative strength now is really about their previous weakness.
Even if you disagree with Elon and believe LiDAR will be the future of autonomous vehicles, there’s no guarantee MicroVision will be the company, or even a company, that survives and takes significant market share. This company was labeled a “corporate husk” by Hindenburg Research just a few months ago, yet the share price has only grown since then.
The Bottom Line On MVIS Stock
“Today, even though MVIS is a 28-year old company boasting a portfolio of over 500 patents, it hasn’t converted any of this IP into licensing revenue. Nor has it been able to land a direct purchase from a technology or industrial company.”
That’s InvestorPlace Market Analyst Joanna Makris, pointing out that MicroVision is a long-running company with a checkered past and little in the way of deliverables.
The fact the company doesn’t have a product in-hand also bothered InvestorPlace analyst Mark R. Hake, CFA, who said it all in the headline: “MicroVision Stock Has Limited Upside Until it Has a Product in Hand.” Hake also emphasized a comment from the March 11 earnings call where CEO Sumit Sharma indicated the company was up for sale. A potential buyer would likely want to see MVIS stock deflate to a more reasonable valuation before buying.
InvestorPlace’s Chris Markoch wrote on April 12 that “Investors are getting ahead of themselves with MVIS stock,” but it’s not all doom and gloom. Colleague Chris Tyler pointed out on April 15 that the price chart looked promising for continuing the rally in MicroVision. And just yesterday, InvestorPlace analyst Louis Navellier said MicroVision looked perfectly priced at $10 and change.
On the date of publication, Vivian Medithi did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.