Lots of talk out there about San Antonio being the next stop for Google Fiber. If true this would be the largest Google Fiber city to date with 525K addressable homes and 100K addressable businesses.
Yes khonkaen. Jeremy Huddleston, the guy who helped design the lens for the original FLIR One is now head of all optical engineering at LPTH (he gave the LPTH presentation at SPIE). Its interesting that Huddleston was recently given these responsibilities. His background is clearly infrared/small scale optics and he worked for Tessera before their micro optics division was acquired by FLIR. Tessera's micro optics division, among other things, designed small scale optics for smartphones and IR lenses. Huddleston has written several papers on infrared optics technologies as well.
The fact that Gaynor put a guy with this type of background in charge of all optical engineering operations for the company tells me LPTH is clearly focusing on IR and possibly consumer related devices as their future growth path.
The post you are talking about was from someone suggesting LPTH was going to get 2 very large orders from a "European telecom company". First, I wouldn't put too much stock in any post claiming inside information on a message board. Only believe those type of things when you read about them in a LPTH press release.
Second, any telecom related orders like that would likely be coming from an equipment OEM for use in their fiber optic transceivers. If the orders are genuine and truly "very large" you can bet the OEM thoroughly vetted LPTH's technology and their capacity to produce the needed number of lenses. They wouldn't take any chances of #$%$ off their service provider customers even if they had a second source.
According Yole Research's recent report, IR cameras will soon be a commodity as price reductions and advancing technology drive adoption. An article on the report is on the EETimes website and provides some interesting info. Do a web search for "Yole EETimes".
I don't know if FLIR is using a LPTH lens in the MR160 but FLIR is a LPTH customer and are certainly using LPTH IR lenses in an unspecified number of their products. In LPTH's IR update PR on 6/2/2015 they refer to working with "a European division of a major producer of thermal imaging cameras" and being awarded "a single source position at a rate of 2,000 lenses per month". I'm certain this is FLIR. Their worldwide thermography division headquarters is located in Danderyd Sweden and that's where they produce their IR cameras for all applications.
Another interesting fact is that Jeremy Huddleston, who was promoted to head of optical engineering at LPTH during the recent corporate restructuring, was working for FLIR as recently as February 2014 where he was an optical engineer. At FLIR he helped design the optical lenses used on the FLIR One iPhone add on device. But he decided to leave FLIR and seek employment at LPTH instead.
Things that make you go Hmmmmm
My first question would be: Who is the customer in the PR? I'm not 100% convinced the customer is an infrared camera OEM like FLIR. It could also be a manufacturer of integrated components that is sourced by OEM's to produce their own brand of infrared camera. An example of this would be a company like DRS who manufactures the infrared camera module which includes the sensor and the lens and, in turn, sells that module to the camera OEM who than sells to the end user.
Firefighting cameras are not cheap although prices are coming down. A camera that sells for between $3K and $8K depending on the type of camera and quantity purchased means we're not talking about huge volumes of lenses but the price per lens should be fairly healthy. I think the lens ASP would be closer to the mid point of Gaynor's $5-$100 range for IR lenses than the low end. Volume is anyone's guess. If the customer is an integrated supplier who is sourcing a number of OEM's, LPTH's lens could be used in a variety of different camera models from different companies. We're not talking about iPhone-like unit numbers here but at $3.2mm in revenue per quarter this type of contract can certainly help.
The key takeaway for me is that LPTH IR lenses are starting to get traction in the space. IR module prices are coming down. ASP's on lenses and sensors, a pricey part of an IR camera module, are coming down (FLIR breakthrough with their Lepton IR camera module enabled launch of FLIR One) as is the silicon. LPTH is in the right spot. If they can execute they should have a lot of opportunity coming.
Windows 10 computers ship with Intel's Real Sense cameras which include an IR camera and an IR laser projector. If LPTH was sourcing Intel we likely would know about it by now.
Tuesday's PR stated that LPTH is now targeting IR applications including "maintenance and security applications such as individual cameras for firefighters and police use". Since the Ferguson shooting last August and the shooting in South Carolina in April, body cams are a hot topic among police officials across the nation. In December President Obama pledged $263mm in matching funds to purchase 50K body cams, hard drives and training for local police After the Ferguson shooting, DGLY stock went from $3 to $33 in two weeks. TASR is up 200% since last August.
This seems like a good area for LPTH to target as the average body cam sells for between $400 and $800 and an IR lens for these devices should carry a decent ASP.
Ladenburg, the only analyst firm with coverage on CLFD, reiterated their buy rating yesterday. They feel that CLFD's growth story is very much intact and its just a timing issue as to when the Tier 1 players start ramping. CLFD's ILEC business (traditional Tier 3 customer base) was up 33% Y/Y in 1H/15 and their MSO and international business steady. Its clear that CLFD's new products are resonating with their customers and their market share is increasing.
Basically the delays in Google's Austin deployment, which CLFD is supplying, is what caused the revenue/EPS miss. Once Google's temporary issues are behind them regarding rights of way and permitting and the deployment starts ramping than revenue will start flowing again to CLFD.
The Longmont project seems to be doing well so far. Their goal was to get a 34% take rate for their gigabit internet service. So far they are seeing a 45% take rate which exceeds their initial goal by 1/3rd. There are about 40K addressable customers for this project which makes Longmont one of the larger municipal fiber projects undertaken in the U.S. to date.
Just read an interesting article that states CLFD is supplying what sounds like Field Shield and their new pluggable connectors to the Longmont Colorado municipal gigabit fiber project. The city of Longmont got fed up with poor service from their incumbent providers and floated $40mm worth of muni bonds to build their own state of the art gigabit network.
The article states the new technology will cut the number of fiber splices needed for the project from 90K down to 5K. It states the average skilled fiber splicer takes 5 minutes on average to complete a splice. Therefore CLFD's technology would save Longmont appx. 7000 man hours of splicing time plus associative wages and will speed up the deployment significantly. Construction of the network will continue throughout 2015.
Just an FYI.....on April 30th at 12:30 CT representatives from Clearfield and Dura-Line will present together in another webinar entitled: "Fiber Delivery: Construction Options That Make Everyone Happy". Apparently this webinar will address new below grade fiber deployment options.
6% move on good volume, no news or analyst action and confounding shareholders as to why.
That's the old CLFD we know and love.
Last week Clearfield distributed a webinar to their email subscribers titled "Last Mile Fiber Delivery Solutions Using Labor Lite Technology". This webinar was conducted by Clearfield in partnership with Dura-Line and representatives from both companies presented together (you can find this webinar by Googling "Clearfield Dura-Line webinar"). I thought this was interesting because in the last 10K Clearfield listed Dura-Line as a competitor to their Field Shield product. Obviously the two companies are now working together in some capacity and this is interesting for a couple of reasons:
1. Dura-Line is a large company who did upwards of $700mm in revenue last year. They are the preeminent conduit supplier for the telecom industry with 2300 customers on 6 different continents. They have 20 manufacturing plants on 5 different continents. Some of their customers include Google Fiber, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner, Cablevision in the U.S. and Vodafone, Orange, Telia Sonera and Telefonica in Europe. Dura-Line helped develop AT&T and Verizon's microtechnology architecture and they often have exclusive agreements with the carriers for the projects they supply.
2. A partnership here makes sense. Dura-Line could use Clearfield's Field Shield fiber and connectors (which are now Telcordia certified) to fit perfectly into their large range of conduits. This relationship could provide the perfect "in" for Clearfield to enter the Tier 1 space with their Field Shield product through Dura-Line's broad range of conduit customers.
There aren't any official details on this relationship yet but its certainly a potentially exciting development and something to keep an eye on.
Comcast said this morning they will make 2Gbps FTTH, which they call Gigabit Pro, available to 1.5mm residents in Atlanta starting next month. They also say they will make this service available to 18mm homes throughout their footprint by year end.