WEEKLY ISSUE: A Company in Transition Can Be an Opportunity When the Time is Right

WEEKLY ISSUE: A Company in Transition Can Be an Opportunity When the Time is Right

In this Week’s Issue:

  • Updates on Tematica Select List Holdings
  • A Company in Transition Can Be an Opportunity When the Time is Right

 

We have one last major earnings hurrah in the short-term and that will hit on Thursday. From there, the pace of earnings should begin to slow, but like any lengthy meal, it means digestion will ensue. This time around the digestion phase will be the usual matching up of company reports and cross-referencing guidance, but with an eye to how realistic earnings expectations are for the back half of 2017.

In addition to doing our own work on this, as you read this Tematica’s Chief Investment Strategist is winging his way to Singapore to give a presentation on thematic investing. While the trip to and fro will be a lengthy one, including a long layover in Japan, we strongly suspect he’ll have a number of data points and insight to share in the next issue of Tematica Investing that will be published on Aug. 16. That’s right, while others may take off the last two weeks of August, we’ll be coming at you as we close the second month of 3Q 2017 and get ready for September.

Historically September has been one of the worst performing months for the market, and given our concerns about earnings expectations vs. the market’s valuation, the pending normalization of the Fed’s balance sheet and speed of the economy not to mention continued drama in DC and North Korea, we want to dress the investing table properly ahead of entering the last month of the quarter.

 

 

Updates on Tematica Select List Holdings

As we mentioned in this week’s Monday Morning Kickoff, we had a sea of more than 600 companies report their latest quarterly performance. Here are some quick highlights and corresponding actions for those Tematica Select List members that reported last week.

Following Facebook’s (FB) better-than-expected June quarter, in which advertising revenue rose 47 percent year-on-year and mobile revenue jumped 53 percent and the company trimmed back its operating expense guidance, we are boosting our price target on the shares to $200 from $165. At the current share price, we now see just over 15 percent upside to our new price target. Clearly, that is tempting. However, we’d look for the shares to settle following its earnings report and bullish commentary before revisiting the current rating on the shares.

  • We’ve increased our price target to $200 from $165 for Facebook (FB) shares, which offers 18 percent upside from current levels.
  • As we re-issue our Buy rating on FB shares, we would suggest subscribers let the currently over bought shares cool off following last week’s post earnings report climb. We see a compelling line closer to $160.

Also during the week, Amazon (AMZN) reported results that missed expectations, which we attribute to our warning over ramping expenses. Given its outlook, however, the shares finished the week down modestly. We acknowledge that quarter-to-quarter expenses can be tricky when it comes to Amazon, but there is no denying the winds that are at its back. As we enter the Back to School and soon to be upon us holiday shopping period we continue to see Amazon taking consumer wallet share. The fact that it continues to expand its offering while growing its very profitable Amazon Web Services is not lost on us.

  • Our price target on Amazon (AMZN) shares remains $1,150, which keeps the shares a Buy at current levels.
  • As we have said previously, AMZN shares are ones to own, not trade.

Buried inside the earnings report from MGM Resorts (MGM) last week was improved margin guidance, along with a strong event calendar, which in our view offsets the current disruption at its Monte Carlo facility. As a reminder, that facility is being rebranded to Park MGM. On the back of that call, Telsey Advisory Group not only reiterated its Outperform rating, but boosted its price target to $39. We’ll look to see if the near-term event calendar featuring the upcoming McGregor vs. Mayweather fight on Aug. 26 lives up to expectations, before adjusting our $37 price target for this Guilty Pleasure company.

When we added shares of AXT (AXTI) to the Tematica Select List, we knew the business would benefit from our increasingly Connected Society as well as new technologies that are part of our Disruptive Technology investing theme. Today we are boosting our price target to $11 from $9 on shares of this compound semiconductor substrate manufacturer following an upbeat 2Q 2107 earnings report. While the company’s EPS for the quarter was in-line with expectations, quarterly revenue was ahead of expectations and management confirmed the upbeat outlook by core customer Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) as it signaled continued volume gains are to be had in the coming quarters. We continue to see increasing demand for its substrates fueled by wireless and light emitting diode applications as well as the adoption of next generation technologies in data centers and other telecommunication applications. As volume improves, so to should margins and EPS generation as well.

  • We are boosting our price target on AXT Inc. (AXTI) shares to $11 from $9, which keeps a Buy rating intact.

Finally, while Applied Materials (AMAT) shares closed down 8 percent over the last several days, competitor Lam Research (LRCX) offered an upbeat view of semiconductor capital equipment demand on its 2Q 2017 earnings report. On the corresponding earnings call, Lam management shared several confirming data points behind our Applied thesis, including “Demand trends are robust, particularly in memory both in enterprise and consumer end markets. Applications such as machine learning and artificial intelligence are foundational to the next generation of technology innovation, and they are driving strong memory content growth for DRAM and NAND that offer attractive economics for our customers.”

One of the key differences between Applied and Lam is Applied’s position in display technology equipment that is benefitting from the ramp in organic light emitting diodes displays. Lam does not participate in that market and as good as its outlook is for semiconductor capital equipment, which bodes well for Applied, recent news that LG Display would invest several billion dollars to help Apple (AAPL) secure organic light emitting diode display capacity only benefits Applied.

  • We continue to be bullish on both Applied Materials (AMAT) as well as Universal Display (OLED) shares and our respective price targets remain $55 and $125.

A Company in Transition Can Be an Opportunity When the Time is Right

Often times companies that are in transition are ones that are put on the shelf that investors tend not to revisit. While that can be a good thing, there are times when it may not be and that’s the question today. Is Nokia (NOK), the former mobile phone market share leader that bungled the smartphone revolution worth taking another look at? Kind of like a bad relationship, most investors tend to walk away from a stock like a bad breakup, never looking back. But in this case, we think NOK, which was once a darling of our Connected Society investing theme a decade plus ago is showing signs it might be deserving of another chance as it morphs into Asset-lite company.

Let’s remember, Nokia shrewdly sold off its mobile phone business to Microsoft (MSFT) a few years ago fetching $7.2 billion in return. Soon thereafter Nokia sold its Here mapping and locations services business to an automotive industry consortium consisting of Audi, BMW Group and Daimler for $3.1 billion. So yes, the Nokia of today is very different than it was just a decade ago.

What’s left, is a company comprised of two businesses – Nokia Networks and Nokia Technologies. The Networks business is one that includes its mobile networks equipment — the hardware the carries all that cellular data — that is used by carriers across the globe, which are filling in some phase of expanding existing 3G or 4G LTE network coverage, building new 4G LTE networks (like in India) or prepping to test 5G networks. The Networks are a lumpy business as equipment demand peaks as a new technology is ramped and then fades as only incremental spending remains. We’ve seen this with 2G, 3G, and 4G networks, and odds are we will see this again with 5G. The Networks business also includes its services business as well as its IP/Optical Networks business, but the key mobile networks business accounts for

The issue will be one of timing – when does the ramp really begin? – and the competitive landscape, given the emergence of Chinese players like Huawei.
The simplest way to view Nokia Networks is it is one of the equipment vendors that Dycom Industries (DY) would use as it builds out a 4G, 5G or wirelines network for AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) or Comcast (CMCSA). Its competitors include Ericsson (ERIC) as well as Alcatel Lucent (ALU), but also several Chinese vendors including Huawei and ZTE as well as Samsung.

While many may focus on that lumpy and competitive business, to us here at Tematica the far more interesting business is the company’s licensing arm called Nokia Technologies, a division that taps into our Asset-Lite investment theme that focuses on businesses that leverage intellectual property, patent portfolios and both licensing in and out models, outsourcing and similar business models. It’s an attractive investment theme because it requires little capital to operate, but often generates significant profits. Case in point, Nokia’s Technology division accounts for roughly 7 percent of overall revenue, but it generates more than one-third of the company’s overall operating profit.

Nokia Technology’s assets include the company’s vast mobile IP library, as well as developments in digital health and digital media. Given Nokia’s storied history in the phone market, many smartphone makers license the company’s patents for everything from display technology to antenna design. These licenses tend to span several years, and are extremely profitable. Moreover, Nokia is not resting on its laurels and licensing aging IP – during the first half of 2017, it spent EUR 1.9 billion ($2.2 billion) as it develops digital media, immersive virtual reality, and digital health technologies as well as builds out its mobile and wireline IP portfolio.

We’d note that Apple (AAPL) recently plunked down $2 billion to re-up its licensing agreement with Nokia, after engaging in a patent dispute when the last agreement lapsed. During 2Q 2017 Nokia also ironed out a licensing deal with Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi, and has its sight on not only other Chinese vendors, but also expanding its reach as connectivity moves beyond the smartphone and tablet to the home, car and Internet of Things. We see the expanded nature of Nokia’s latest licensing agreement with Apple as a potential harbinger of things to come. On the recent 2Q 2017 earnings call Nokia managements shared that, “instead of a simple patent licensing agreement, we have agreed on a more extensive business collaboration with Apple, providing potential for a meaningful uplift in our IP Routing, Optical Networks and Digital Health business units over time.” In our view, this makes Nokia a looming Disruptive Technology company mixed with a hefty dose of Connected Society.

Now here’s where things get interesting – while Nokia Technologies represented just 7 percent of overall sales in 2Q 2017, it was responsible for more than 60 percent of Nokia’s overall operating profit. Viewed from a different angle, its operating margins are more than 60 percent vs. just 8 percent or so for the Networks business. As one might suspect, the company is targeting a restructuring program to improve profitability at its Networks business, but from our perspective, the real story and the thematic tailwinds that make it attractive are the earnings leverage is tied to the Nokia Technologies business. Should Nokia begin to ink either more licensing deals with Chinese and other smartphone vendors or ones that allow it to expands its IP scope, we could see a meaningful lift in 2018 expectations. Current consensus expectations sit at EPS of 0.35 on revenue of $26.7 billion. That means NOK shares are trading at 18.3x that 2018 forecast, but the question in our mind is after two years with no EPS growth can Nokia grow actually grow its EPS by 35 percent in 2018.

As we’ve learned in the past with InterDigital (IDCC) and Qualcomm (QCOM)sometimes these licensing wins can be lumpy, taking far more time than one might expect. From time to time, it may include legal action as well, which can lead to a rise in legal fees in the short term. Given the company’s net cash position of roughly EUR 4.0 billion ($4.7 billion), we’re not too concerned about its ability to protect itself while continuing to invest in R&D or pay an annual special dividend each year.

As we look for greater near-term clarity at Nokia Technologies and as management looks to restructure Nokia Networks as well as the current valuation, rather than jump on Nokia shares trading at $6.58 at the open this morning as we head into the dog days of summer, we’re placing them onto the Tematica Contender List and we’ll watch for future IP licensing progress or for the shares at about 15% less, at the $5.50 level.

One other item… In an interesting development, a few years ago Microsoft has sold the Nokia brand in two parts to HMD and Foxconn. HMD is a company comprised of former Nokia employees in Finland and through Nokia Technologies it has licensed the sole use of the Nokia brand on mobile phones and tablets worldwide for the next decade, as well as key cellular patents. Meanwhile, Foxconn acquired the manufacturing, distribution and sales arms of Microsoft-Nokia and has also agreed to build the new Nokia phone for HMD. To us, this could be a wild card to watch, but the question will be whether or not they make the move from feature phone to smartphone and have any success? Only time will tell.

 

 

 

Inflation waning while bonds dispute moves in stocks

Inflation waning while bonds dispute moves in stocks

Wednesday the Federal Reserve, as expected, raised rates, but even more importantly they release an outline of their plans to shrink the Fed’s balance sheet, which you can read here. We must also note that raising rates in a period of falling bond yields and where the 3-month change in core CPI is collapsing is unheard of, but then very little of U.S. monetary policy these days in within the bounds of normal.

Here are just a few reality checks to keep in mind.

Stocks are experiencing below average volatility and volume

  • On average, the S&P 500 experiences around 50 days where the market moves +/- 1 percent, but so far in 2017 we have experienced only 6 such days.
  • The 30-day NYSE average daily volume is down 16 percent from the post-election peak

Concentrated Gains

  • According to Barron’s, Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT) and Alphabet (GOOGL) collectively account for about 56 percent of the $1.16 trillion gain in the NASDAQ 100 market cap since the start of the year and are responsible for around 40 percent of the gain in the S&P 500 year-to-date: recall that back in 2000 Microsoft, Qualcomm (QCOM), Cisco (CSCO), Intel (INTC) and Oracle (ORCL) represented about 50 percent of the NASDAQ 100.
  • Collectively the FAANG trade trades at a P/E ratio of 39x, (versus 2017 EPS), which represents a 7-point expansion in 2017 alone.
  • 32 percent of actively managed funds are overweight the tech sector
  • 71 percent of actively managed funds are overweight FANG
  • The returns for the S&P 500 equal weight index is over 3 percent below the S&P 500 market cap weighted index year-to-date

Bonds are not telling a growth story

  • US 10-year Treasury yield has fallen from 2.6 percent in March to just over 2.1 percent today.
  • US 30-year Treasury yield has dropped from a peak of over 3.2 percent in the first quarter to less than 2.8 percent for the first time since November.
  • The Treasury curve, which has been flattening for some time, accelerated this trend this week, with the 10-year to 2-year spread falling below 80 basis points for this first time since last September.

10-2 Year Treasury Yield Spread Chart

The Bottom Line

  • Tops never look like tops until after they are well behind you.
  • They typically occur when investors are most confident.
  • They always occur before we are ready.
Making a Nuanced Move With The Tematica Select Investment List

Making a Nuanced Move With The Tematica Select Investment List

DOWNLOAD THIS WEEK’S ISSUE
The full content of Tematica Investing is below; however downloading the full issue provides detailed performance tables and charts.Click here to download.

Over the last week, while many have been watching the Dow Jones Industrial Average flirt with 20,000, the Nasdaq Composite Index continued to climb higher. That led our Connected Society investment theme positions in Facebook (FB), Alphabet (GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN) higher over the last week.

  • Even so, we still have ample room to our respective price targets for each of those positions and our buy rating on all three remains.

 

Over the last few months, we’ve been talking about the impact of food deflation, which has been confirmed by our Cash-strapped Consumer play that is Costco Wholesale (COST) as well as grocery chain Kroger (KR) and others.

We’ve also called out the inability of restaurants to harness that deflation for their own margins given minimum wage increases and other cost drivers. The latest findings from Fitch Ratings sees restaurant sales slowing this year, and the NPD Group expects traffic will be flat this year, with a 2 percent decline at dine-in restaurants offsetting a 1% increase at quick-service concepts.  We expect confirmation to be had this coming earnings season, and if Kona Grill’s (KONA) 4 percent decline in same-store sales for the December quarter is any indication it’s not going to be pretty.

Still, we know that people need to eat and are continuing to shift toward organic and natural foods and other products, which bodes well for our McCormick & Co. (MKC) and United Natural Foods (UNFI) shares. Recent findings from a new poll conducted by Pew Research Center underscore our bullish position. According to the Pew poll, 55 percent of Americans believe that “organic food, particularly organically grown fruits and vegetables, are healthier than conventional.” The same poll also showed a growing distrust of GMO foods and concern over pesticide use.

A different study conducted by the European Parliament’s Independent Research Service, titled “Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture,” concluded that eating organic food improves early development, reduces pesticide exposure, strengthens the nutritional value of food, and mitigates disease risks.
We do not see this as a short-term fad and point to a recent report from Research and Markets that forecasts the global market for organic food to grow at “a CAGR of over 14 percent during 2016-2021, on account of high demand for organic food.”

  • Both MKC and UNFI remain Buys at current levels.

 

rogueonecharact-6d3c3120104-originalOn the continued strength of Rouge One at the box office and the news that Content is King investment theme company The Walt Disney Co. (DIS) is firming up plans for a streaming ESPN service, our Disney shares moved higher over the last several days.

The same can be said with our CalAmp (CAMP) shares following management’s presentation at the annual Needham Growth Conference that focused on its expanding market opportunities across fleet management, Connected Car and enterprise asset tracking markets.


Adding Nuance Communications (NUAN)
to the Tematica Select List as Voice Goes Big

Last week was the tech world descended upon Las Vegas for CES 2017. The annual trade show kicks off the new year and introduces a number of new consumer gadgets that we’re likely to see — some this year and others in the coming ones.

Among the sea of announcements, there were a number that focused on one aspect of our Disruptive Technology investing theme and that is the area of voice recognition technology. Over the years we’ve seen various incarnations of this technology, most recently with Siri from Apple (AAPL), Cortana from Microsoft (MSFT), Google Assistant from Alphabet (GOOGL) and Alexa from Amazon (AMZN). Each of these has come to the forefront like in products like Amazon Echo and Google Home that house these virtual digital assistants (VDAs), but for now one of the largest consumer-facing markets for voice interface technology has been the smartphone. Coming in 2016, Parks Associates found that nearly 40 percent of all smartphone owners use some sort of voice recognition software such as Siri or Google Now.

 

 

In 2016, the up and comer was Amazon as sales of its Echo devices were up 9x year over year this past holiday season and “millions of Alexa devices sold worldwide this year.” If you’re a user of Amazon Echo like we are, then you know that each week more capabilities are being added to the Alexa app such as ordering a pizza from Dominos (DPZ), calling for an Uber, checking sports scores and weather to getting holiday cocktail recipes.

As we entered 2017, Amazon announced that Prime members can voice-order their next meal through Amazon Restaurants on their Alexa-enabled devices including the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot. Once an order is placed, Amazon delivery partners deliver the food in one hour or less. Pretty cool so long as you have Amazon Restaurants operating in and around where you live.

 

 

Virtual digital assistants cut across more than just smartphones and devices like Amazon Echo and the recently announced Google Home. According to a new report from Tractica, while smartphone-based consumer VDAs are currently the best-known offerings, virtual assistant technologies are also beginning to penetrate other device types including smart watches, fitness trackers, PCs, smart home systems, and automobiles.

We saw just that at CES 2017 with some landscaping changing announcements for VDAs. Alphabet had several announcements surrounding its Google Home product at CES 2017, including integration into upcoming Hyundai and Chrysler models; and acquiring Limes Audio, which focuses on voice communication systems, and will likely be additive to the company’s Google Home, Hangouts and other products. Microsoft also scored a win for Cortana with Nissan.

While those wins were impressive, the big VDA winner at CES was Amazon as it significantly expanded its Alexa footprint on deals with LG, Dish Network (DISH), Whirlpool (WHR), Huawei and Ford (F). In doing so Amazon has outflanked Alphabet, Microsoft and even Apple in the digital assistant market. To us, that’s another leg to the Amazon stool that offers more support to the share alongside the digital shopping/services, content, and Amazon Web Services businesses. You don’t need to read between the lines to think that we still see big upside to our $975 Amazon price target.

To be fair, Apple originally did not license out its Siri technology and only in June 2016 did it announce that it would open the code behind Siri to third-party developers through an API, giving outside apps the ability to activate from Siri’s voice commands, and potentially endowing Siri with a wide range of new skills and datasets.
Tractica forecasts that unique active consumer VDA users will grow from 390 million in 2015 to 1.8 billion worldwide by the end of 2021.  During the same period, unique active enterprise VDA users will rise from 155 million in 2015 to 843 million by 2021.  The market intelligence firm forecasts that total VDA revenue will grow from $1.6 billion in 2015 to $15.8 billion in 2021.

 

An Overlooked Player in the VDA Segment

Nuance Communications logoThe one drawback when it comes to the VDA market is the players mentioned above have large existing businesses, which means their respective VDA businesses, at least in the next few yeas, will have at best modest influence on their overall financial picture. In keeping with our “buy the bullets not the guns,” coming out of CES 2017 we find ourselves looking at speech technology and voice recognition company Nuance Communications (NUAN).

Nuance’s voice solutions compete in four markets:

  • Healthcare (49 percent of revenue): In this business, Nuance supports clinical documentation workflows and electronic medical record (EMR) adoption through flexible offerings, including transcription services, dictation software for the EMR, diagnostics workflow, and mobile applications. Recently Nuance released Dragon Medical Advisor, an AI Assistant for doctors. More than 500,000 clinicians and 10,000 healthcare facilities worldwide use Nuance’s healthcare solutions, which are sold through customers that include Cerner (CERN), Epic, McKesson (MCK), UPMC, Cleveland Clinic, Siemens, and the Mayo Clinic. Over the last few quarters, Nuance has been transitioning this business from a perpetual license business to a software as a service (SAAS) one, but with that shift expected to be largely completed by the second half of 2017 that revenue drag should be eliminated.
  • Enterprise (20 percent of revenue): This business segment offers automated intelligent self-service solutions that include speech and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that reduce or replace human contact center agents with conversational systems, across voice, mobile, web and messaging channels. Think of when you call your bank, broker or even consider using the phone to call for a pizza from Dominos (candidly we’re not sure why you would call given the ease of the Domino’s app that can be used on either your smartphone, Apple TV, or Amazon’s Alexa, but hey that’s us). Representative customers include Avaya, BT, Cisco, DiData, Genesys, Huawei, MoshiMoshi, NICE, Telstra, and Verint. Nuance’s customers include: American Airlines, Amtrak, Bank of America, Barclays, Dominos, Delta, Deutsche Telekom, e*trade, ING Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, T-Mobile, Telefonica, Telstra, and Vodafone.
  • Mobile (19 percent of revenue): Here Nuance offers a portfolio of specialized virtual assistants and connected services built on voice recognition, text-to-speech, natural language understanding, dialog, and text input technologies across automotive, device and mobile operator solutions. With regard to automotive in particular, Nuance has announced Daimler, Ford and BMW as customers, and as evidenced at both CES 2017 and the 2017 North American International Auto Show we are nearing the tipping point for the Connected Car, which should bode well for this business segment.
  • Imaging (12 percent of revenue): In this division, segment Nuance provides software solutions and expertise that help professionals and organizations to gain optimal control of their document and information processes. Customers and partners include Ricoh, Xerox, HP, Canon, and Samsung. This business has been bumping along at around 11 to 12 percent of revenue the last few years as Nuance has reorganized itself over the last several quarters.

When we step back from Nuance’s business segments and look at the overall market growth for voice recognition technologies, BCC Research sees it growing to $184.9 billion in 2021, up from $90.3 billion in 2015. Breaking these two markets down into Consumer and Enterprise markets, BCC expects the Consumer market to grow to $95.9 billion in 2021 from $54.4 billion in 2016 and the Enterprise market to reach $79.0 billion by 2021 up from $44.0 billion in 2016. Viewed against that larger market, we see ample room for Nuance to expand beyond the $1.9 billion in revenue it generated in 2016.

Over the last few years, after delivering significant revenue growth during 2010-2014,  the pace of revenue growth, while positive, has dipped. Part of that is due in part to erosion for the transcription business in the company’s Healthcare business, as well as the shift from a contract business model to a Cloud based one that offers integrated solutions. In 2016, roughly 70 percent of the company’s revenue stream was recurring in nature, up from 65 percent or so in 2015.

What this tells us is the bulk of the revenue shift is largely behind the company. Like a turning tanker, these changes take time, but once they catch momentum they tend to pick up speed and Nuance should see its recurring revenue growth to 70-75 percent of overall revenue during 2017. As investors, we like the nature of a recurring revenue model, given that it affords far greater visibility and shares tend to be rewarded with better multiples given that predictability.

We’ve seen the power of this business shift already at Adobe Systems (ADBE), which now has more than 70 percent of its revenue recurring in nature, up from 19 percent in 2011, and its shares that have climbed to just over $108 from $28 at the end of 2011.

Looking Ahead to 2017 for Nuance

The growth businesses at Nuance include its automotive, voice biometrics, omni-channel customer care, unified print and scan solutions, Dragon Medical, CDI and diagnostics. Paving the way is the company’s most recent quarterly bookings, which were up 45 percent year on year. Longer-term we expect more applications across the consumer electronics market to develop. As noted above, Whirlpool is working with Amazon and odds are that means before too long we’ll see VDAs built into various appliances across the kitchen and laundry rooms. In our view, that’s just scratching at the surface.

The big question circling Nuance is the competitive landscape, particularly the move by Amazon, Alphabet and Apple to open up their application programming interface (API) to third-parties. Just like Rackspace (RACK) specializes in Cloud computing, but thus far has remained unharmed by Amazon’s AWS, Nuance specializes in selling to global brands, health care, and large corporations, which are not likely to utilize Google’s free API for its business needs. As you’ve probably notice with Android, one of the issues with a free API is malware and cyber hacking.

It’s also not lost on us that Alphabet recently acquired Limes Audio to improve its voice recognition capabilities. As anyone who has used Apple’s Siri knows, it’s far from perfect in voice recognition and voice to text. In our view, this means Nuance could be an attractive candidate for a larger player that needs to improve its technology positioning.

 

What are NUAN shares worth?

In looking over historic multiples, including P/E and Enterprise Value to Revenue, and applying them to consensus 2017 earnings expectations that call for EPS of $1.59 on revenue of just over $2 billion, we see upside to $21 and downside to just under $15.

At the current share price — $15.45 as of market close on 1/10/17 — NUAN shares are trading at under 10x expected 2017 earnings of $1.59 per share. We certainly like that risk-to-reward trade-off in NUAN shares at a time when voice technology is expanding its market size across the device, automotive and Internet of Things markets.

 

Bottomline on Nuance Communications (NUAN)
  • We’re adding NUAN shares to the Tematica Select list with a price target of $21.
  • Because this is a new position, we are holding off with a stop loss recommendation at this time, preferring to use near-term weakness to scale into the position and improve the cost basis.

 

* We strongly recommend you use the link below to download the full report on Nuance Communications (NUAN), which includes background on our Disruptive Technology thematic as well as financials on NUAN.

DOWNLOAD THIS WEEK’S ISSUE
The full content of Tematica Investing is above; however downloading the full issue provides detailed performance tables and charts. Click here to download.