Virtual reality and augmented reality are the newest platform for entertainment, and even productivity. Apple recently announced a further investment in AR technology. This developing sector has enormous potential and a myriad of possible applications, and the market is sure to grow.
Here are the top technology companies working on artificial and augmented reality.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD-Q)
AMD is working on their Liquid VR technology that provides an ecosystem for companies to build on. Their technology allows for near-photorealistic imagery in real-time.
It has been the poor step-child of the semi-conductor space. His model sees a 38% downside risk. He sees other better options out there.
3D Systems (DDD-N)
Involved in VR – 3D Systems creates specialized simulators using VR headsets to train healthcare professionals. They’re also a leader in 3D printing and scanning, which can be rendered in virtual reality.
Unfortunately, it had a big earnings miss. A very whippy stock. It can be a big pop or a big drop on earnings numbers. There is a lot of hype and expectations. Technically it has broken because of its bad earnings quarter, and it is going to face a long road up.
Involved in AR – Facebook is working on their own augmented reality glasses. They’ve already registered some patents and recently expanded their Facebook Reality Lab to continue their work.
One of his favourite tech/communication companies. Largest online social network in the world. Subscriber rate continues to astound. Expected revenue 77B in 2020. Advertisers and marketers love it. Paying 33x forward earnings for 23% long term expected growth rate. Buy on the dips. No dividend. (Analysts’ price target is $249.27)
Alphabet Inc (C) (GOOG-Q)
Involved in VR and AR – Google is no stranger to VR, launching their first virtual reality viewer in 2013. They have started experimenting with mobile VR advertising format, and the company is rumoured to be building a new version of Glass. They also provide an augmented reality platform called ARCore.
Warren Buffet has 43% of his portfolio in APPL. APPL is a wonderful brand and strong company. He does not own it today. What worries him a little is that more than half of their revenues come from iPhone sales. They are diversifying, but it will take time. People are tending to keep their phones…
GoPro Inc (GPRO-Q)
Involved in VR – GoPro launched their Fusion Camera, which allows creators to create 360-degree virtual-reality footage. They also made their VR player technology, Forge.js, open-source and free so people can create their own VR experiences and host them on a user’s website.
(A Top Pick Jan 25/16. Down 1.98%.) *Short*. Shorted this because we were having momentum to the downside in the market. Also, this had a high valuation.
Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ-N)
Involved in VR – HP already has a Windows Mixed Reality Headset, which takes advantage of Windows software to play games, live stream and more.
He doesn't follow this closely, but it's in a strong sector. HP probably suffered an earnings decline recently. He owns Apple and Google instead--he'd rather bet on tech here. Nothing wrong with HP though, but it's not as strong as these two.
Involved in VR and AR – Microsoft’s Hololense is a mixed reality headset, that allows you to see holographic images appear win the real world. Their headset can also connect to Xbox and provide an immersive gaming experience.
Capitalizing on work from home theme, cloud business. Expected to continue to fly in the post-pandemic world. Impressive free cash flow. 16 consecutive quarters of positive earnings surprise growth. Paying a bit of a premium for a 15% growth rate, but not a lot of names are dominant as they are. Yield is 0.95%. (Analysts’…
Nvidia Corp (NVDA-Q)
Involved in VR – Nvidia created the GeForce RTX GPUs to drive VR experiences. Their GPU allows for more immersive, and real-time graphics.
NVDA is a graphic chip designer. A great company that has done well in this rally. It is just to expensive to buy at these levels.
Involved in AR – Nokia cancelled their Ozo camera program, which captured 360-degree virtual reality footage. However, they are working on including more AR features in their cellphones.
5G deployment is a key theme for him right now. NOK and CSCO are others in the space. He much prefers ERIC overall -- he thinks it could go to $12 per share.
Involved in AR – Apple is working on their Augmented Reality headset, and may launch it as early as 2020. They are also heavily investing in augmented reality for iOS, working together with companies such as GE, Ikea, and American Airlines to bring AR into the day-to-day.
(A Top Pick Jul 29/19, Up 84%) Over 40% of Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio is AAPL. He bought in in 2010 and has never sold a share. It is now above his model price, but he still sees it moving towards $500 in the not distant future.
Nintendo Company Ltd. (7974-TYO)
Involved in VR – The Nintendo Switch is being rumoured to get a Virtual Reality headset. Although this is unconfirmed, the Switch console is said to attach to a headset to be used for games.
Not a big fan of branded technology. A product launch story where you get a big upsurge in revenue (like EA) and they have to carry a lot of cash. A volatile cycle that moves too much for his taste.
Himax Technologies (HIMX-Q)
Involved in VR and AR – Himax produces non-driver components for AR and VR as well as 3D-sensing devices. Their main revenue source is display driver ICs that are used in smartphones, tablets and monitors.
Virtual reality and a chipmaker? This is a chip company and they make chips for some of the virtual reality and augmented reality pieces. It has big potential. The stock fell really, really hard on earnings, but has recently come back again. The company is going to be volatile, but one of the few plays…
Sony Corp. ADR (SNE-N)
Involved in VR – Sony’s VR headset is intimately linked with their PlayStation console, offering an immersive gaming experience. It allows users to watch movies, play games and listen to audio in virtual reality.
This is not only a technology company. Much of its earnings are coming from games and movies. Both those areas are very difficult to predict. He sees better value elsewhere.
Synaptics Inc (SYNA-Q)
Involved in VR – Synaptics announced a new virtual reality display driver and bridge last summer. They are the leading developer of human interface solutions and are building the components of VR headsets.
(A Top Pick July 8/09. Down 17.33%.) Touch screens technology and there was a competitive product that was driving prices down. Sold his holdings.
Involved in VR and AR – Intel launched their Vaunt AR smart glasses last year. Although they shut down this project, it’s almost certain that they are working on the next augmented reality and virtual reality project.
His favorite chip stock and he owns it personally. He has a model price over $108 -- over 85% upside. He is not concerned that AAPL will not be buying their chips -- they already sell 120% of their chips. A monopoly, but no one cares. Yield 2.25% (Analysts’ price target is $64.95)
Micron Technology (MU-Q)
Involved in VR and AR – Micron produces graphics memory chips for AR and VR use. They bring solutions to he problems encountered with increased bandwidth requirements for advanced graphics.
In these volatile times, have a risk management process. He uses a hedging overlap. He loves MU in the semi space, trading at 5x enterprise value to EBITDA. This just beat earnings even in this time. $63 is his own target. (Analysts’ price target is $61.37)
Western Digital (WDC-Q)
Involved in VR and AR – Western Digital is developing solutions for higher resolution on VR and AR digital display and faster speeds for real time experiences. They’re also creating a more lightweight, embedded data storage solution for virtual reality and augmented reality products.
China is building out its own technology hardware industry. China was the biggest net importer relative to their needs and will now displace US market share. This is a trade that you buy when it is weak. Don't add fresh money. He would prefer TSM-N.