The products have done so well that there's already a slew of me-too tablet offerings from Hewlett-Packard
Which version of this story is the right one?
There's an inherent conflict in the movement to smaller computers and the human eyes that strive to read their screens. You can make your PCs as "nano" as you like, but the smaller the device, the smaller the surface area of the LCD display -- and the harder it is to read. Enter MicroVision with a solution, or rather, many solutions. Among its several products, the company produces tiny, wearable optics that allow you to "see" displays much larger than if you were viewing them directly on a device's screen. In addition, the company is a leader in pico projectors, a category that Texas Instruments
It's a great idea, except for one thing ...
The customers aren't buying it. Last week, MicroVision preannounced Q4 earnings showing revenues tumbling 30% -- a big disconnect from the full-year expectation of 24% growth. The company also expects to lose perhaps $0.17 per share, while on an annual basis, MicroVision staggers along at a nearly flat, $0.52-per-share full-year loss.
Now, some folks might applaud management's getting "ahead of the news," putting these numbers out there a full month before official earnings are due. Unfortunately, rather than 'fess up front and center, MicroVision buried the bad news deep inside its press release, first devoting several paragraphs to boasting of its partnership with Pioneer in the automotive heads-up display market, and discussing this year's "strategy."
When you get right down to it, even MicroVision's promises fail to inspire. MicroVision promised to cut "2011 cash requirements by 40%." But seeing as how the company would have burned over $35 million in cash last year were it not for additional equity financing, even that reduction of cash requirements leaves the company light on cash for the year ahead.
That means more stock dilution for its long-suffering shareholders, and a smaller share of future profits. Assuming MicroVision ever produces any.
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