October 25th, 2021 | 11:28 CEST
SAP, Meta Materials, Intel - Going above and beyond
Table of contents:
Pioneering work pays off
Over the past 20 years, nanostructure fabrication techniques have advanced, leading to a wide range of breakthrough solutions that can control light and heat on a microscopic scale. Some of the areas that have contributed include photonic crystals, nanolithography, and nanoparticle manipulation. From these advances, a new branch of materials science has emerged - metamaterials.
Metamaterials are composite structures composed of conventional materials such as metals and plastics engineered by scientists to have new or improved properties and composed of many "meta-atoms." Development strategies for metamaterials and functional materials focus on structures that produce unusual and exotic electromagnetic properties by altering light and radio waves in ways that would be impossible naturally. With 149 patents filed, 82 issued, spread across 46 patent families, and eight registered trademarks, Nasdaq-based Meta Materials has gained a distinct competitive advantage through 10 years of research.
The market for future materials is huge and growing rapidly at an annual rate of almost 24%. By 2030, the market volume is expected to reach USD 10.7 billion. The advantage of these novel materials is that they can be used across industries. Meta Materials has a technology platform that includes the three core competencies of holography, lithography and wireless sensor technology with strong IT networking and artificial intelligence embedding. The Canadians' developed functional films can be sold in the consumer electronics, 5G communications, medical, aerospace, automotive and clean energy segments. The security segment was expanded by acquiring Nanotech Security, a publicly-traded company specializing in nano-imprint lithography. As a result, the customer base will be expanded to include, for example, central banks, which will be able to purchase the developed security features for banknotes.
Meta Materials already has a stock market value of around EUR 1.14 billion. It is not cheap if one takes the pure valuation ratios with a price-to-sales ratio beyond 300. However, as the market leader in a new growth industry, these parameters are often ignored; think of Amazon or Google at the turn of the millennium.
Take advantage of setbacks
With a fast-growing cloud business, the highly encouraging third-quarter figures confirm software giant SAP's strategy shift. "Our strategy is clearly paying off," CEO Christian Klein said in a statement. He said the "Rise with SAP" program, which aims to make it easy for customers to move in and out of the cloud, is driving growth. After a successful start in January, it has continued to receive a great response. Deals with more than 300 customers have been reached in the process, he said. SAP CFO Mucic now expects more than 1,000 contracts by the end of the year.
After the Walldorf share had already risen sharply when the preliminary figures were announced, profits were realized when the final figures were published last week. Technically, the share price was able to close the gap that had been torn and then turned upwards again in perfect fashion. Fundamentally, SAP is on the right track, and an entry at the current level is quite attractive.
Shock at Intel
Intel's share price fell by a double-digit percentage after the publication of the figures for the third quarter. The chip giant is not immune to the semiconductor crisis. The demand for Intel components sank since the clientele could no longer deliver their PCs and servers even because of missing other chips. Sales of notebooks, in particular, fell by 14% year-on-year.
Besides the fact that competitors such as AMD or Nvidia overtook Intel, and Apple wants to switch to processors from its production, lower than analysts' forecast profit expectations for the future also led to significant losses. In the next two to three years, the US company announced the gross profit margin would be between 51 and 53%. That is well below analysts' expectations, who had predicted more than 56% for this year alone.
The shortage of raw materials and the bottleneck in semiconductors are some of the dominant issues currently. The development of new invisible materials for future technologies is progressing. Meta Materials is one step ahead of the competition through its patent portfolio. SAP is on track, and Intel is looking to get back on top through new investments.
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