Categories Interviews, Technology

WiSA optimism driven by new product launches: Summit Wireless CEO

Following stellar earnings performance in Q3, CEO Brett Moyer speaks on WiSA tech and the expectations for the future

Despite being a micro-cap player, Summit Wireless Technologies (NASDAQ: WISA) shook the market after posting third-quarter financial results earlier this week. The stock soared as much as 40%, riding on a 45% revenue growth year-over-year, as well as the management’s optimistic outlook of over 100% growth in the fourth quarter.

The company is a founding member of the Wireless Speaker and Audio Association (WiSA), which focuses on establishing wireless interoperability standards across the audio industry. Leading global brands such as LG, Xbox, Harman, Philips and Hisense have already announced their commitment to this technology in a major boost to Summit’s efforts.  

Market opportunity

While the current market penetration of the technology is on the lower end, Summit Wireless CEO Brett Moyer said WiSA-certified products that are priced within the $1,500 range is expected to open up the market to more consumers. Meanwhile, WiSA products are available at a wider price range of $799 to $25,000.

We supplement the marketing of the brands with direct-to-consumer WiSA marketing. If you look at WiSA-ready TVs, that’s LG and they are roughly 15% of the market. If you look at soundbars also, that gives us an available market of 35 to 40 million soundbars next year with the rollout of new products.”

The San Jose, California-based firm primarily generates revenues by selling custom ASICs and modules that make audio devices compliant with the technology. Summit Wireless also recently developed SoundSend, an audio transmitter that connects to smart TVs and wirelessly sends high-quality 24 bit 96 kHz audio to WiSA-enabled speakers from brands such as Enclave Audio, Klipsch and Dynaudio. The HDMI (or optical)-connected transmitter is expected to hit the markets this month for approximately $180.   

The device can decode surround sound formats including Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital, and connect to up to eight channels. Meanwhile, the management expects modules to continue to be the revenue driver for the firm going ahead.

Revenues will be mostly from modules. We are distributing SoundSend to give guaranteed confidence that there is always going to be an affordable transmitter to connect to their speakers.”

Strong outlook

Arguably the strongest point in Summit’s recent earnings announcement was the revenue growth outlook of over 100%. While Q4 is generally a strong quarter, Brett said the strong optimism is built upon the expected new product launches, more than the holiday season. The CEO, meanwhile, declined from commenting on the firm’s roadmap to profitability.

A major challenge facing the firm right now is building consumer awareness about the technology, though there has been a steady increase in interest, as seen from the engagement on WiSA’s website.  

If we take the US market, I don’t need all 325 million people to know what WiSA is. At this stage, if we have five to ten million people who become aware of WiSA and are focused on acquiring home theatre type solutions, that’s great for us.”

As of Monday, the stock was trading near $2.55 during market hours. The average 12-month average price target is at a 96% upside from this price.

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For more insights into Summit Wireless, read the latest earnings call transcript here.

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