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Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights MicroVision, Cutera and IRIDEX

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 22, 2024 – Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses MicroVision (MVIS - Free Report) , Cutera (CUTR - Free Report) and IRIDEX Corp. (IRIX - Free Report) .


Industry: Laser Systems


The Zacks Laser Systems and Components industry is suffering from challenging macroeconomic conditions globally, weak economic conditions in Europe and a sluggish economic environment in China. Continued economic uncertainty with low PMI numbers in Europe, North America and Japan is impacting industrial demand and capital investments.

However, industry participants like MicroVision, Cutera and IRIDEX Corp. benefit from upbeat demand from electric vehicles, electronics, semiconductors and healthcare end-markets. Robust demand for high-power continuous wave and pulsed laser for cutting and battery-processing applications, growing demand for high-performance optical devices, and the ongoing adoption of cloud computing, autonomous driving, IoT and 5G are the key catalysts.

Industry Description

The Zacks Laser Systems and Components industry comprises companies offering high-performance fiber lasers, fiber amplifiers and diode lasers, optical and photonic products, and scanning technology solutions. The key end markets are semiconductors, metrology, advanced communication and medical devices. Industry participants also provide high-precision 3D sensors and system products for inspection and metrology.

Moreover, in the medical devices space, laser and other energy-based aesthetic treatments can achieve therapeutic results by affecting structures within the skin. Developing safe and effective aesthetic treatments has resulted in a well-established market for these procedures. The industry also operates in the cyclical surface mount technology and semiconductor capital equipment markets.

3 Laser Systems & Components Industry Trends to Watch

Emerging Applications Driving Demand for Lasers: The industry is benefiting from increasing demand for emerging applications like additive manufacturing, facial recognition, gesture recognition, LiDAR applications and IoT. Advanced lasers, especially those with 3D sensing (3DS) capabilities, are enhancing interactions using technology. Notably, 3DS — the technology that allows users to create 3D printable objects, control games with body gestures and measure objects — is in high demand.

Laser-IoT Combination Supports Efficiency: As industries are increasingly adopting automation techniques, combining lasers with IoT improves operating efficiency. IoT-supported manufacturing equipment is far easier to update with firmware. The combination reduces costs and increases the flexibility and reliability manifold by enabling material-handling capabilities through remote sources. Strong demand from semiconductor and allied markets, which are seeing a rapid shift toward the production of micro and nano devices, is another positive for industry participants.

Challenging Macroeconomic Condition Hurts Prospect: Industry participants suffer from sluggish capital spending by original equipment manufacturers. Moreover, raging inflation, a strong U.S. dollar, energy headwinds in Europe and weakness in China are expected to hurt industry participants in the near term.

Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Dim Prospects

The Zacks Laser Systems and Components industry is housed within the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector. It carries a Zacks Industry Rank #213, which places it in the bottom 15% of more than 250 Zacks industries.

The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates bearish near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than two to one.

The industry’s position in the bottom 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries results from the negative earnings outlook for the constituent companies in aggregate. Looking at the aggregate earnings estimate revisions, it appears that analysts are pessimistic about this group’s earnings growth potential. Since Feb 28, 2023, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the industry’s earnings for 2024 has declined 60.5%.

Despite the lackluster outlook, there are a few stocks worth watching in the industry. But before we present the top industry picks, it is worth looking at the industry’s shareholder returns and current valuation first.

Industry Underperforms Broader Sector and S&P 500

The Zacks Laser Systems and Components industry has underperformed the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector and the S&P 500 composite over the past year.

The industry has declined 33.2% over this period against the S&P 500’s rise of 25.6% and the broader sector’s return of 49.5%.

Industry's Current Valuation

On the basis of the trailing 12-month P/S, which is a commonly used multiple for valuing Laser Systems and Components stocks, we see that the industry is currently trading at 5.71X compared with the S&P 500’s 4.32X. It is also trading above the sector’s trailing 12-month P/S of 3.72X.

Over the last five years, the industry has traded as high as 12.64X and as low as 3.96X, with a median of 6.28X.

3 Laser Stocks to Watch

MicroVision: Redmond, WA-based MicroVision is well-known provider of MEMS-based solid-state automotive lidar technology and ADAS solutions. The stock has declined 33.2% in the year-to-date period.

MicroVision benefits from a diversified portfolio. It offers multiple technology nodes, with highest resolutions, smallest form factor LiDAR with its MEMS-based long-range MAVIN, as well as small form factor short-range sequential flash-based MOVIA LiDAR product lines.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for MVIS’ 2024 loss has been unchanged at 40 cents per share in the past 30 days. MicroVision currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Cutera: This Brisbane, CA-based company is a well-known provider of aesthetic and dermatology solutions.

Cutera is benefiting from strong top-line growth, driven by strong demand for its skincare solutions, improving international business and steady AviClear revenues.

CUTR shares have lost 90.8% in the past year. The consensus mark for this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s 2024 loss has been steady at $2.94 per share over the past 30 days.

IRIDEX: This Mountain View, CA-based company is a well-known provider of laser-based medical systems, delivery devices, and procedure probes for the treatment of glaucoma and retinal diseases.

IRIDEX is benefiting from an expanding portfolio. It recently announced the U.S. launch of its next-generation platform Iridex 532 and Iridex 577 Lasers. The launch of the new PASCAL platform with MicroPulse capability is noteworthy.

IRIX shares have gained 21.1% in the past year. The consensus mark for this Zacks Rank #3 company’s 2024 loss has been steady at 26 cents per share over the past 30 days.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.


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