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Ford Reports 7.6% Stake In Newly Public Velodyne Lidar

Chris Katje
·2 mins read

After Monday's close, Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) reported a 7.6% ownership stake in Velodyne Lidar (NASDAQ: VLDR). Ford owns 13,065,444 shares of the newly public company.

Velodyne Lidar recently merged with SPAC Graf Industrial Corp (NYSE: GRAF).

What To Know: Ford became a partial owner in Velodyne Lidar back in 2016 alongside Baidu Inc (NASDAQ: BIDU), which together invested $150 million in the company. Baidu has not issued a 13G as of this writing.

The 13G filing shows Ford did not sell any of their shares and added to their position. Ford was not subject to a lockup and was free to sell their shares when Velodyne became a publicly-traded company.

Why It’s Important: Ford’s new CEO Jim Farley has made electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles a huge priority for the company going forward. He vowed to “Turn around automotive operations, allocate capital to Ford’s strongest franchises and high-growth opportunities; produce compelling uniquely Ford electric vehicles at scale; and stand up new AV-enabled businesses.”

Ford is a partner with Velodyne on developing a fully autonomous car for ride-share and taxis. Plans called for these cars to hit the market in 2021, but that has since been delayed to 2021.

Mizuho analyst Vijay Rakesh recently sized up the lidar market and highlighted six stocks to own in the sector. Rakesh sees the global lidar market going from $1.5 billion in 2019 to $3.6 billion in 2025.

What’s Next: Velodyne Lidar will report third-quarter earnings on Nov. 5.

The company announced in September that it has $970 million in deals through 2024, an increase of $130 million since the merger with Graf was announced. The company is estimating revenue to hit $101 million for fiscal 2020.

Shares of Velodyne were up 4.4% to $16.95 in after-hours trading Monday.

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