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Alex Cho

Morgan Stanley Optimistic on MobilEye Transaction

Adam Jonas from Morgan Stanley reiterated his positive stance on Mobile Eye, though he lowered his rating to equal weight in-light of strategic M&A fully-pricing in market premium. Notwithstanding, he mentions that the deal carries a lot of merit.

Here were the key highlights in a sell-side note he released to Morgan Stanley clients a couple days ago:

On our analysis of 39 global auto suppliers, MBLY screened very near the top of all players on a variety of strategic metrics (see analysis below). Following the announced acquisition of Harman by Samsung and now Mobileye by Intel (covered by Joseph Moore), we believe management teams and investors may be more closely assessing their long-term strategic place in the industry and the value of their role in the ecosystem of the future automotive model.

We see MBLY as a strong company that has taken strategic steps to mitigate long-term risks to the company's market position and to protect its long-term competitive advantage. However, we believe the market sufficiently discounts these important qualities. On our Global Auto Strategic Scorecard (GASS), the company's score is relatively compelling, helping to justify the firm's premium valuation.

While the deal value is prohibitively expensive, it’s likely that we’ll see long-term accretion to sales/earnings given Mobileye’s projected revenue CAGR of 40% to 50% over the next three fiscal-years excluding strategic sell-through from Intel’s acquisition. Hence, the sell-side analysts like the long-term implications, though near-term accretion for shareholders seems limited. Hence, it’s a long-term investment into autonomous car sensors, which car fleets take a long time (roughly 10-years) to fully refresh. Hence, the opportunity is more incremental than what investors are realistically expecting from the recently announced transaction.

I continue to reiterate my hold recommendation on Intel.

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