Got some spam about these advertising a newsletter called ’The Near Future Report.’ A few details are revealed; you can find the pitch here: https://pros.bonnerandpartners.com/p/1706BNFLAUNCH/PBNFT702/Full
For the first one, one of the mentions ’Project Titan.’ But that is an Apple initiative so I doubt that is the key clue. I also think we can rule out NVIDIA, it might gain from here but certainly not the 20-bagger or more that’s promised. Tesla certainly isn’t the pick either. The pitch tells the story that an important journey will occur in January of ’18, so what I think they’re hawking is some kind of factory add-on system that can be applied to existing models; a whole vehicle would take a lot longer. I saw Delphi hawking a system like that at the Detroit Auto Show last January, and they had done a cross-country journey similar to the one in the teaser that was nearly fully autonomous. It was a converted car, and Audi A3 I think. In any case, Delphi is in the self-driving space for sure. I thought Delphi was owned by GM but it seems it’s a separate company, at least now. The pick might be a also be a small autonomous-driving focused company like Mobileye, Covisint, or Codha. I really had my eye on Mobileye (no pun intended), even though they’re Israeli, but it was just bought by Intel, and there are reports of them having a parting of the ways from Tesla in the past. Covisint and Codha are more about the network, I don’t think they fit the bill with their narrower focus. Another possibility would be one of the component manufacturers like Phantom Intelligence or Valeo, but I think the pitch sounds like a systems company, not a component supplier. So my bet is Delphi. And I do think it’s going to be big. One of the components of autonomous vehicles is the rather mundane back up camera. It’s not just for the driver; the car can use that view to park itself (and it does, although I hate that feature and never use it). DId you know those cameras are now mandatory? Yes, in less than a year: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/03/31/nhtsa-rear-view-cameras/7114531/ . Every new car I’ve looked at already has them. And I think more components of autonomous driving will be added; collision avoidance braking, lane departure warning, etc. which are now optional features but I believe will be on every Hyundai and VW soon. And in the more distant future, perhaps real autonomous driving.
As for the second one, I have narrowed it down to two: Pure Energy Minerals and Monolithic Power Systems. The first is a junior lithium miner, and the second sells lots of stuff but specifically power management systems. MPS Both could be talking to Tesla behind closed doors. Fortune profiled PEM last ear, pointing out they use a different technology than everyone else to extract lithium using a solvent (evaporation is the norm) and that they’ve already got something going with Tesla. Obviously this would be so Tesla can have a nearby lithium source for their batteries. Sounds like a fair chance PEM will benefit once the Gigafactory surges, whether or not this is the company in the teaser. And while I do think PEM is a likely choice for Tesla to buy lithium from, and I actually bought some shares because they’re dirt cheap (pun intended), Bonner’s tease doesn’t sound like a raw material supplier. It wouldn’t’ fit with this line: ’The part they make is what keeps Tesla’s batteries running properly…’ so it must be a company that makes power management parts. That’s why I think it’s MPS.
As for MPS, Seeking Alpha has one of those super technical analyses on their site but it’s over a year old (if you love charts, it’s heaven). Basically it concludes that MPS was healthy at the time. MPS themselves talk about doing business with Tesla as far back as 2013, but who knows if they actually cut a deal? Seems like they would be well positioned to help Tesla build all these batteries in Nevada, but they have lots of choices, and so does MPS. But MPS has a reputation for building reliable parts that handle high-power fluxes. They should be one of Tesla’s suppliers They’re all over the place. There’s some chatter here and there about who Tesla’s suppliers might be. And that chatter is what led me to choose MPS. There isn’t any. Google ’Monolithic Power Systems’ and tesla and you’ll be led back several years. A current search for Tesla’s suppliers says nothing about power management parts, or MPS at all. Check this report: http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/052815/who-are-teslas-tsla-main-suppliers.asp . It’s over two years old, but where is a power management parts supplier? I made good money buying Magna based on this article, but with Bonner’s new tease I’m alerted that I’m missing that ingredient in my soup. Here’s a more current report: https://csimarket.com/stocks/suppliers_glance.php?code=TSLA which again fails to mention power management.
And you know what I remembered? The scene in ’Star Wars Episode II – Attack of the Clones,’ in which Obi-Wan visits Yoda and the little kids with light sabers (so cute!). Yoda says ’Lost a planet, Obi-Wan has!’ And with the help of the smart kid who says his missing planet must have been erased from the archives, he finds Camino where its gravity says it should be. And the clones are all Bobba Fett’s brothers! But I digress. The point is that there’s a power management company on Tesla’s list and nobody is telling us which one. MPS would be a good choice, based on what I know about the industry. But there are others, to be sure. But here is the coup de grâce: MPS made the power management guts of my solar installation from 2014, and guess who did the work? Solar City, which has since been absorbed by Tesla, so there’s an inside track here. And with the Gigafactory gearing up to make three potentially huge sellers that will all use power management parts (the Model 3, Power Wall, and Solar Roof), Tesla is going to buy a large number of parts from somebody to manage all 1.21 gigawatts it takes to get to plaid (couldn’t resist, and in fact cars operate in the 10’s of KW). And MPS is my bet for the second winner. And by the way it’s very nice having a negative electric bill every month.
OK ladies and gents, what do you think of this analysis? I’m going to wait a few days to plunk down money so if you think I’m wrong please tell me.
This is a discussion topic or guest posting submitted by a Stock Gumshoe reader. The content has not been edited or reviewed by Stock Gumshoe, and any opinions expressed are those of the author alone.