Nanotech Co. Narrows Focus for Rest of 2023
Source: Streetwise Reports
July 7, 2023 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Nanotechnology company Meta Materials Inc. says it is focusing on three primary areas for the rest of 2023: its KolourOptik authentication technology, battery materials, and the introduction of a multiple gigapixel wide-area motion imagery system.
Nanotechnology company Meta Materials Inc. (MMAT:NASDAQ; MMAX:CSE; MMAT:FSE) announced it will be focusing on three primary areas for the rest of 2023: its KolourOptik® authentication technology, battery materials, and the introduction of a multiple gigapixel wide-area motion imagery system.
The VLEPSIS® system will support multiple streams and function as a "Google Earth live version," Chief Executive Officer George Palikaras said during a company webcast last week.
It will be "the first of its kind, gigapixel camera that's commercially available and able to cover areas as large as an entire city," Palikaras said. "This can be done from a single sensor, and it's powered by Nvidia's special GPUs, but also in combination with our proprietary AI software. As a result, it can observe patterns of life in . . . hundreds of objects simultaneously, in real-time, high-resolution video."
The system covers up to 50 square kilometers from a 5-kilometer altitude, the company said. It also features live onboard streaming and archival, rapid access to footage from multiple ground station users. It's compact and lightweight enough to be carried by a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
"These are small enough to fit on the back of an F-150 Quarter cybertruck," Palikaras said.
Palikaras said the company had partnered with other industry players and submitted a US$8 million proposal to an artificial intelligence technology competition.
"We will spend more time explaining the uniqueness of this technology and the business opportunity in the coming months," Palikaras said.
Another focus will be reducing the monthly burn rate of the company by as much as half to US$2.6 million to US$3.8 million from US$5.7 million, Cormark Securities analyst MacMurray Whale wrote in an updated research note on Friday.
"As we noted last quarter, MMAT's high burn rate and low cash balance was a concern, and as a result, we see the revised plan as a positive step that should garner a positive investor response," wrote Whale, who reiterated his Buy rating on the stock with a target of US$1.50 per share. "On the call, Management indicated that it would need $50 MM over the next 12 months from a combination of reduced cash burn, raising capital from strategics or grants from government programs, and last through equity."
The Catalyst: 'Potential to Disrupt Various End Markets'
Developed first in the 1960s, design and manufacturing capabilities caught up to metamaterials in the 2000s.
META is using them to develop nanotechnology products like self-deicing and defogging enclosures for automotive advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), see-through antennas, augmented reality glasses that look like regular glasses, and special eyewear that protects pilots' eyes from laser strikes.
The company is applying its futuristic technology to the communications, health and wellness, aerospace, automotive, and clean energy sectors.
"We believe META is well-positioned to secure partnerships with major companies over the next year," Alliance Global Partners analyst Jake Sekelsky wrote while initiating coverage of META in February. "We believe Meta's solutions have the potential to disrupt various end markets."
Sekelsky rated META's stock a Buy with a US$2 per share target price.
Using Nanotech to 'Improve Life on Earth'
At the Consumer Electronics Show this year, META was named a 2023 Innovation Awards honoree for its NANOWEB® transparent film to clear up microwave windows.
A microwave display, with its completely clear window, drew big crowds of conference attendees. NANOWEB® is also used to de-ice auto sensors and manufacture antennas and electrochromic lenses for augmented reality and 5G reflector films.
"We use basically nanotechnology to improve life on Earth," Palikaras said. "Advanced materials not only can improve everyday products that surround us, but they can make them smarter and more sustainable. META has been there delivering a breakthrough performance across a range of applications and industries."
The majority of the company's revenue currently comes from its contract with an unspecified G10 central bank customer for anti-counterfeiting measures.
A new purchase order earlier this year brought the amount received by META to US$14.4 million so far. It is part of an agreement with the bank for a maximum of US$41.5 million in orders over up to five years. The customer can increase the scope of the award.
META's KolourOptik® technology can include images with omnidirectional movement, 3D depth, or holographic security patterns on not just currency but on documents, smart packaging, and gift cards. The technology can also help prevent loss of life due to counterfeit medication.
Battery Tech Is the Biggest Potential Market
Battery technology is the company's biggest potential market, the CEO said.
According to Markets and Markets, the market was valued at US$57.8 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach US$120.4 billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.8%.
With electric vehicles (EVs) set to lead the way to a green energy revolution, META said its products would make lithium batteries safer and more efficient while extending their range and making battery supply chains more sustainable.
NPORE® is META's free-standing, flexible battery separator made with a ceramic nanomaterial that provides less than 1% heat shrinkage up to 220° C. Conventional plastic separators shrink at higher temperatures, which can cause thermal runaway and battery failures.
The company was chosen as a finalist at the International Battery Seminar in Orlando, Fla., earlier this year in its Best of Show awards program recognizing the best new battery products.
META recently received a new patent directed at lithium batteries where the anode, or negative electrode, comprises a dispersion or "wet" layer of the anode materials.
"NPORE® provides outstanding heat resistance compared with conventional polymer separators, which show significant shrinkage at elevated temperatures due to the melting of the polymer," Water Tower Research analyst Graham Mattison wrote in a March research note.
In March, a confidential top 10 battery original equipment manufacturer (OEM) signed a joint development agreement with META for NPORE®.
"We see this as further validation of NPORE® and a catalyst for the shares," Mattison wrote. "META has demonstrated the excellent electrochemical performance and outstanding heat resistance of NPORE® through both independent testing and a recently released white paper from a battery developer. This agreement shows the commercial potential of the product as well as a potential path to market."
Ownership and Share Structure
About 15% of META is held by management and insiders, according to Yahoo Finance. Among them is President and Chief Executive Officer George Palikaras, who owns 8.3% or 29.9 million shares, Reuters reported.
Yahoo said about 11% of the company is held by institutions. Some of the top holders are State Street Global Advisors (US), with 4% or 14.49 million shares, and Nova Scotia Innovation Corp., with 3.45% or 12.5 million shares, according to Reuters.
The rest, 74%, is retail.
The company has a market cap of $97.13 million, with 362.2 million shares outstanding and 307.5 million free-floating. It trades in a 52-week range of US$2.34 and US$0.173.
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