Plaid Skirt Marketing

Breaking News & Top Stories


Luminar CFO defends lidar maker’s pricing and revenue

A Mercedes-Benz van retrofitted with various kinds of lidar methods, together with Luminar’s Iris, to showcase the variations within the applied sciences.

Michael Wayland / CNBC

Lidar maker Luminar Applied sciences, stung by a current Wall Avenue downgrade, is responding in an uncommon method: taking its case on to the shareholders.

In a letter seen by CNBC on Friday morning, Luminar CFO Tom Fennimore – himself a former Goldman Sachs managing director – takes subject with arguments made in a bearish observe by Goldman analyst Mark Delaney earlier this week.

associated investing information


Delaney on Tuesday afternoon minimize Goldman’s ranking on Luminar to promote, from maintain, arguing that its shares are overpriced relative to key opponents and that Luminar’s personal pricing assumptions are unrealistically excessive.

Luminar’s shares have fallen about 16% since Delaney’s observe was printed.

“We proceed to see Luminar as one in every of a handful of leaders within the very aggressive lidar business,” Delaney wrote. “Nonetheless, we see draw back to the corporate’s margin outlook with the corporate concentrating on income per automobile of ~$1k which we consider implies ASPs [average selling prices] roughly 50-100% greater than key opponents.”

Merely put, whereas Delaney acknowledges that Luminar is one in every of just a few lidar makers successful offers with main automakers, he thinks that Luminar will not be capable to get the costs it is hoping to get from these automakers. And based mostly on 2025 income assumptions, he sees Luminar buying and selling at 4 occasions the valuation of opponents Innoviz and Hesai, each of which have additionally gained enterprise from automakers.   

Fennimore argues that Delaney missed two key factors.

“One, our tech is healthier, and folks usually pay a premium for tech, however to us this is not a theoretical train: That is pricing that we even have in place,” Fennimore instructed CNBC in an interview on Friday morning.

Fennimore’s letter factors out that Luminar has already signed contracts to supply {hardware} and software program for over 20 upcoming new autos from main automakers together with Volvo, Polestar, Mercedes-Benz and Chinese language auto large SAIC Motor. These contracts lock in pricing by means of the lifetime of these upcoming fashions, he stated.

“‘Premium pricing’ is not a theoretical idea we’re forecasting, however an achievement we’ve already made in our main buyer contracts,” Fennimore wrote within the shareholder letter.

And the second level Fennimore says Goldman missed: The time-frame Delaney selected to match Luminar’s valuation in opposition to these of its rivals.

“We consider utilizing 2025 income as a valuation benchmark versus friends dramatically undervalues Luminar, as lots of the 20+ automobile traces we’ve been awarded aren’t anticipated to succeed in manufacturing till past 2025,” he wrote.

Put one other method, among the huge contracts that Luminar has already signed will not generate important income till these autos launch within the second half of the last decade, Fennimore stated.

The choice to take the rebuttal on to Luminar’s shareholders is uncommon, however Fennimore believes it is warranted – and he hinted that Luminar would possibly select to ship extra letters like this sooner or later.

“Each time anyone raises legitimate and considerate issues about us, we wish to reply with legitimate and considerate information,” Fennimore instructed CNBC. “As a result of I believe the capital markets depend on having a very good and factual debate.”