Google Glass and Himax Whirlwind

Himax Stock early March

I usually just talk technology on this blog, but the recent events involving my blog on Google Glass using Himax’s panel caused some fascinating movement in Himax’s stock price.   There have been several moves of over one hundred million dollars of movement which has been at least in part attributed to my blog and.or my comments.   One other thing, I have never had any position in Himax stock (not that I haven’t wished I had bought and sold based on my own blog and comments).

In this blog on Thursday Feb 28, 2013 I reported that I had figured out that there was a Himax color filter LCOS panel in the early Google Glass prototypes based on pictures of the internal components.  To me it was a technical puzzle to solve first posed by Picopros.com on Feb. 22nd.   I was careful to also include in my blog post on Feb 28th, and then added to it on March 2nd that it was doubtful that the newer Google Glass devices used an LCOS panel because it would not fit.  I was trying to frank and fair so that people would not over react (for what little good that did).    This got my blog going that had been dormant for about 6 months.

It turns out that Mark Gomes was following my blog and combined my  information (which he cited) with information he and his associates collected into an article he wrote on Seeking Alpha late Monday March 4th / Early March 5th (depending on the time zone) that Himax was in Google Glass.   Then all heck broke loose.   Himax stock jump about 38% that morning and added about $223M to Himax’s market cap by about 12:40 PM EST on March 5th.

About the time Himax stock hit its high, I found out about the Seeking Alpha article and posted a comment reiterating what my blog post had stated that I didn’t think the Himax panel was used in the newest prototypes (there were also comments from others stating the same).      Himax then stock dropped back about 16% or about $135M in market cap.   (Gad, I should have shorted before I wrote that comment 🙂 ).

I was frankly concerned perhaps Mark Gomes had taken my information out of context which is why I commented back.   In subsequent public comments both on my blog and his instablogs, Mr. Gomes has insisted that my information was only one source that he had combined with other information including direct contact with Himax.

Himax stock then settled down on March 6th (up over $100 from it March 4th close) but then that night Digitimes wrote an article stating that Himax was in Google Glass.   But this article in my opinion looks to be an “echo” of the information on Seeking Alpha and doesn’t give any other sources.   Still Himax stock jump about $105M on what looks to me to be just an echo before settling back some but still much higher than before as of this writing.

Anyway, what I wild ride and I didn’t have a penny to gain (or lose), in fact it has cost me to take a lot of time answering questions from analysts that have contacted me.   Also for the conspiracy minded, ALL the correspondence I have had with Mark Gomes to date have been in public either in my comments on Seeking Alpha or in his comments on this blog.    You can follow our back and forth on this blog or in the original seeking Alpha article or in at least (as of this writing) follow up articles on Mark Gomes’s instablog.

One last teaser for the next article I am planning on doing (some of this is included in my back and forth public comments to Mark Gomes), I don’t think Google Glass is going to be a big market, at least any time soon.    So it really doesn’t matter whose panel is in the prototype, at least in my opinion (buy or sell or do nothing at your own risk 🙂  ).  If there wasn’t so much money flying around, it would be sort of funny, then again maybe it is.

Karl

6 comments

  1. Jason Reaves says:

    Nice work Karl.. It’s frighting what one Seeking Alpha article can do to a stock.

  2. Malone says:

    Karl,

    Has your back channels indicated anything to make you change your mind. I just ask in case new info has come to light. Otherwise I’m hard to pressed to see why the market reacts to a seeking alpha blogger over a world renowned expert such as yourself. Under what conditions would those panels sell in the $15-20 range. That strikes me as near absurd for a mass market LCOS panel.

    • admin says:

      I don’t have any “back channels” to speak of any more. I’m working based on public information (most of it about 6 months old or more), prior knowledge, and the analytical skills of an engineer. I think Mark Gomes and I are coming at this from different directions with different sets of information. Then there is the whole issue of how big a market there will be for Google Glass.

      IMO, for the panels to sell in the $15 to $20 range in high volume, they would have to be higher resolution than what I saw in the Google videos. One of the “tricks” in pricing electronics is that there are 3 variables: The story goes that TI salesman (I worked at TI it maybe different someplace else) negotiating price with a customer once said , “There are 3 variables price, volume, and time frame, you pick two of these and I will tell you the third.” There are also some significant variables in packaging and what they “count” as part of the device.

      Karl

  3. Malone says:

    Maybe Google is playing a game of misdirection and the final product will be much better then the what we’ve seen in public so far.

    Thus I figure either Gomes has some inside source or he is gaming the system and the blogosphere. Anyhow seems there is good money to be made in ambiguity.

    I hope you stick with this story, if not to maybe make a buck, or save others from losing, but just to clarify the situation beyond its current state. Good fun from the sideline as I have no skin in the game (yet =).

    • Mark Gomes says:

      No gaming going on. At this moment, the public knows everything I know. My motivation is to be first to market with information and ideas. Success on this front will build my readership and name-recognition for future business endeavors. Karl has it right. He and I are both seeking the truth, but simply coming at it from different angles (due to our respective areas of expertise).

      He’s an expert technologist and I’m an expert data-point gatherer. Each of us have decades of experience and each of us have shown respect for the other’s expertise throughout this saga. Thus far, I have seen no right or wrong from either of us — just facts and hypotheses.

      Investors would do well to focus on uncovering something we’ve missed, rather than debating which one of of is trying to pump or dump the stock. I’m pretty confident that neither of us is trying to do either.

      Of course, uncovering information is challenging work. Casting accusations at those that do is much easier! It’s funny to me, because we’re both used to it. Thus, the accusation casters lose the most (wasting valuable energy on a non-existent issue). Poetic and entertaining!

      Cheers,

      Mark G.