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Research Frontiers Inc. Message Board

  • threespeech threespeech Nov 6, 2013 6:09 AM Flag


    Were you expecting a quarterly report like the one we just received as far as the royalty income side of it?

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    • Threespeech,

      Please keep in mind when you read this that, unlike a certain other poster, I don’t live in an SPD-centric universe. I try to base my assumptions on published data, which in RFI’s case can be hard to find. So here’s my current assessment of our progress, drawn from very limited but credible resources.

      I wasn't expecting positive earnings, if that's what you mean. I won't look for them until some time after the SPD-equipped S-class comes to market.

      Using the figures in the Q3 report of two licensees (Pilkington and NSG, I assume) combining for 55 percent of the current fee income total, and an estimated (from JH remarks in previous conference calls) $125 royalty per SL or SLK sunroof, I come up with 8612 MSC sunroofs sold as of Sept. 30, or about 11,500 by year's end.

      In 2012, Mercedes sold 32K SLKs and no more than 15K SLs, based on my calculations from Daimler's 2012 annual report and the sales figures they released in Jan. 2013. At those numbers, which have undoubtedly changed, I SPECULATE that the current MSC take rate is about 24 percent.

      Assuming that sales of the new S-class remain flat at last year's 80K – a figure from an Automotive News report on the new S-class -- and the MSC take rate is close to 25 percent, that's 20K sunroofs at an estimated $250 to account for their larger size, or $5 million annually. I am sure at least one other poster will loudly dispute this estimate.

      While I’m waiting for S-class royalties, I expect other licensees -- especially those making aircraft windows -- to account for increasingly larger percentages of the fee income. That’s already happening, because Pilkington’s share has dropped from 68 percent in the first three quarters of last year to 45 percent this year.

      All of that said, I think it’s all good from here. And I could be wrong.

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