Yes, this again, MicroVision again, but it is also a history lesson with a non-stock-related twist that I surprised me.
“MicroVision To Announce First Quarter Results on April 29, 2021” – Yahoo Finance
As I type, that’s less than a week away. Only a few days before MicroVision’s management releases news about how much they made, lost, kept, and spent – and maybe news about how much they hope to make, or be sold for, or something, anything. Just a few months ago, I wrote about Gamestop And Moving Smaller Stocks; particularly whether the situation that put Gamestop’s stock (GME) into the news, including the late night talk show bits, would happen to MicroVision’s stock (MVIS.) As of a few days ago, within some investment communities, MVIS is a more popular or at least common topic than GME. Thousands of people might be watching to hear whether they want to buy, sell, hold, short, borrow, whatever.
If you haven’t noticed there are many qualifiers and possible actions in some of those sentences. That’s because MicroVision’s long term shareholders who have spent years wondering if anyone would ever notice the company and the stock suddenly find their company, their stock, and even their discussion boards overwhelmed with crowds, comments, and actors.
While I and others prefer to work from data, logic, and facts, I recognize that the investment community can operate from emotion. In my opinion of the stock price, MVIS has passed from years of irrational pessimism to so much attention recently that it may experience irrational optimism – or mechanisms in the investment world that can dramatically affect the price of the stock regardless of the value of the company.
Lots of variables. Little information. Thousands of people. Very little time. Billions of dollars at risk. Industries possibly positively disrupted in ways we haven’t witnessed since the internet was so novel and amazing that Internet was capitalized.
Just the time for me to dive into data for long term trends. But, wait.
As many know, I’ve owned MVIS shares for over twenty years. I don’t access massive databases, because I don’t spend that kind of time and money. I’d rather focus on living than on investing; hence, my book “Dream. Invest. Live.” But what I do have is a pile of paperwork from years of owning the stock and trying to decipher management speak.
Hello, paperwork. Hello, rabbit hole. So much for data. Nostalgia kicked in.
That’s a lot of paperwork. It’s also a lot of data, but searching that many documents to retype data stored on paper is more time than I want to spend today, and there aren’t many days between now and the meeting.
But look at those annual reports. Even simply looking at the covers tells a story.
The ones on the left are from an optimistic time. Color brochures, every year a different set of graphics – and every year a different story. The technology and the name of the company were the most constant part of the story. If I write a book about the company I’d like to compare the progression of the optimisms.
The ones on the right are from the next decade, the era of black and white, structured format, cheaper paper, no catchy slogans – the years of a reverse split, many shareholders splitting with the company, technological holes being filled in by managers recognizing reality.
Between the two are a period when the company’s logo went from something I saw as a tri-color bicycle to a set of harsh green cuisinart blades.
This year’s report is as dull as the others.
Until last year, however, every stockholder’s meeting came with trinkets. Sometimes only a pen (which may not last the meeting), other times cups, hats, notebooks.
My favorite is the pen that lights up so you can write in the dark. It was the celebratory pen for the Nomad system, an augmented reality headset that clipped to a baseball cap. Great things were expected for the monochrome display – back in the early years. (2004?)
The stack of papers weighed so much that, as I arranged them, the binder holding them broke.
Out popped a surprise: the 1999 Annual Report with a scribbled note of “When profitable?”
Curiously enough, I don’t think I’ve heard that question about the upcoming meeting. There are questions about buyout values, royalty and licensing income, customers, and cash burn. Profitability? Not discussed. Wouldn’t it be a great surprise to hear management address that directly? (rhetorical)
We’re in the drumroll period for MicroVision. An earnings report in a few days. An online stockholder’s meeting in about a month. (Not expecting them to mail us doughnuts, coffee, trinkets, and demo units. I do miss the meetings, and meeting the other shareholders.) Maybe I’ll set that mug aside, just in case any optimism I have is greatly exceeded. Champagne? Whiskey? Maybe just tea?
One last surprise. As I opened the brochure from that first meeting an article fell out. Ask long term holders about green lasers and get more stories than you may want to hear. Intrigue. Soap opera. Success through adversity.
And then, as I picked up the article I dropped it, it flipped and revealed something that should’ve been read about two years ago. Spooky.
Stay tuned. There may be much brighter days ahead, and the wait might not be long – for MicroVision, MVIS, and many things.