Ready to invest in a future-facing niche industry? If so, then consider Luminar Technologies (NASDAQ:LAZR), a specialist in lidar, or light detection and ranging. As we’ll discover, not everyone believes in LAZR stock, but there’s at least one prominent analyst who expects Luminar to successfully serve the autonomous-driving market. Moreover, insider stock purchases seem to signal confidence in Luminar’s ability to deliver value to shareholders.
The National Ocean Service describes lidar as a “remote sensing method used to examine the surface of the Earth.” It’s a mind-blowing technology that basically maps out 3D data concerning the Earth’s shape and surface characteristics.
Lidar might seem like out-of-this-world technology, but it has real-world applications. Hence, even if Luminar’s bottom-line stats aren’t perfect in 2022, the company could capitalize on an automotive trend — and one expert on Wall Street suggests this could translate to outstanding long-term revenue.
Jim Cramer Doesn’t Like LAZR Stock
When Mad Money host Jim Cramer talks, people listen — and sometimes base their trades on his recommendations. So, it’s notable that Cramer isn’t bullish on LAZR stock.
Reportedly, during a recent Lightning Round of Mad Money, Cramer said about Luminar Technologies, “It’s not making money. We’re not in favor of companies that do not make money.”
Now, that’s a generalization if I ever heard one. Some of today’s most successful businesses didn’t make money in their early stages. Still, we can delve into Luminar’s financial performance to see if Cramer’s off base here.
Technically, what Cramer said is accurate. In the company’s most recently reported quarter, Luminar posted a 57% year-over-year (YOY) revenue increase — not too shabby. However, the company also reported a GAAP net loss of 27 cents per share.
That’s not a horrendous per-share quarterly earnings loss if the stock is trading at $7 and change. Besides, with that pace of revenue growth, Luminar could close its profitability gap sometime soon.
The CEO Is Buying LAZR Stock, And an Analyst Is Bullish
In any case, Cramer isn’t the only person with a stance on LAZR stock. Opinions will vary, and one analyst’s opinion is definitely bullish. Plus, there’s someone in Luminar’s executive suite with some serious skin in the game.
For his part, JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee clearly disagrees with Cramer’s gruff attitude about Luminar Technologies. Chatterjee recently issued an “overweight” rating on Luminar shares. The analyst reportedly expects Luminar to generate revenue of $6 billion, along with profitability of nearly $7.25 per share, in 2030.
Thus, even if it bothers Cramer that Luminar’s not profitable now, the company could move into the green by the end of the decade. Furthermore, it’s encouraging to see that the company’s CEO, Austin Russell, purchased a whopping 75,000 Luminar shares this month. Also, Luminar Technologies Director Daniel Tempesta reportedly bought 59,950 of the company’s shares in September.
What You Can Do Now
The company’s CEO wouldn’t buy so many Luminar Technologies shares, and Chatterjee wouldn’t issue an “overweight” rating, if they didn’t believe in the company. Hence, you don’t have to be like Cramer and over-focus on Luminar’s current lack of profitability.
Instead, give LAZR stock a chance, as the company could become profitable in the coming years. If that happens, the shares might be much more expensive — and Cramer would, naturally, have to change his attitude.
On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.