There’s no denying it: I’ve been bullish on lidar (light detection and ranging) company Luminar (NASDAQ:LAZR) for quite some time. However, I’ll admit that my recommendation of LAZR stock in March was ill-timed.
Unfortunately, the share price tanked in April and hasn’t regained its footing yet. So, does this mean it’s time to cut and run?
Not at all. The big picture hasn’t changed, as Luminar is still a global leader in automotive lidar hardware and software technology.
Besides, pretty soon we might see the company’s next-gen lidar technology practically everywhere — even in the skies.
A Closer Look at LAZR Stock
After being magnetized to $10 for many consecutive months, LAZR stock staged a jailbreak in November of 2020, shooting all the way up to $31 by early December.
The excitement was in the air, and the momentum continued for a little while longer. Thus, the Luminar share price reached a 52-week high of $47.80 on Dec. 8, 2020.
Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. It didn’t happen all at once, but by May 17, 2021, LAZR stock had declined to $22.12.
That’s a tough break for the shareholders, no doubt about it. On the other hand, if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines all this time, now might be a great time to initiate a starter position.
And if you’re already a current LAZR stockholder, hopefully we can find some reasons today to stay the course.
In a recently released report on the company’s financial position, Luminar highlighted outstanding revenue growth as well as a rock-solid capital position.
For the first quarter of 2021, Luminar posted revenues of $5.3 million. That represents a massive 118% quarter-over-quarter increase as well as a 37% year-over-year improvement.
Looking ahead to the future, Luminar believes that it’s on track to achieve its target guidance of $25 to $30 million in revenues for full-year 2021.
Moreover, Luminar’s cash position is $610 million, and the company feels that it’s on track to maintain a cash position at year-end 2021 equal to or higher than its cash position at year-end 2020.
These key stats bolster Luminar founder and CEO Austin Russell’s contention that the company has, “remained relentlessly focused on execution, hitting our key product, commercial, production and financial targets so far.”
Autonomous Flight in Focus
An argument could be made that Luminar is dominating the autonomous vehicle lidar tech market.
Yet, it appears that the company isn’t content just to make its mark in the automotive world.
Now, in a partnership with the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, Luminar is pioneering the science of lidar in the skies.
Airbus (OTCMKTS:EADSY) “has a long history of actively setting a new bar for the future of the aerospace industry,” Russell recently declared.
And, a partnership between Luminar and Airbus (or at least, a subsidiary thereof) “only furthers that trend.”
Here are the specifics. Luminar’s collaboration will be with Airbus UpNext, which is a subsidiary of European aeronautic defense and space company Airbus SE.
Luminar has already acquired more than 50 industry partners, including eight of the top 10 global automakers. However, the Airbus UpNext partnership should provide Luminar with access to what Russell describes as “an established nearly $1 trillion industry.”
Reportedly, teams of experts from both companies will work closely “to enhance sensing, perception, and system-level capabilities to ultimately enable safe, autonomous flight.”
I can only imagine that lidar technology would greatly enhance the safety profile of the aircraft. Only time will tell, but it’s exciting to consider the possibilities.
The Bottom Line
Luminar was at the ground floor of the automotive lidar tech market.
Now, the company’s expanding its horizons and anticipating the next frontier of lidar technology. It’s terrific news for the aviation industry – and for discouraged LAZR stockholders, as well.
On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.