Share prices of Mobileye Global (MBLY 1.33%) are on a tear since they made their debut (again) late in 2022. Parent company Intel (INTC 0.43%) spun off some of its stake in the autonomous vehicle chip designer into a publicly traded company to raise much-needed cash last year, but it said it still owns 94% of the company.
Intel’s own tires have been blown out, and there’s no immediate relief in sight. Mobileye, meanwhile, was a standout performer for Intel in 2022. With some shares freed from Intel and available for purchase, is Mobileye a worthy investment for 2023 and beyond?
Navigating a treacherous road with an imperfect copilot
Before addressing Mobileye’s business directly, we need some chip industry backstory. The semiconductor industry is presently dealing with a slump in sales emanating from a severe dropoff in consumer electronic sales (particularly PCs and laptops). While the market for data center and other enterprise chips is still strong, Intel is in especially sore straits as it has fallen far behind its competitors. It’s forecasting a 40% year-over-year decline in revenue to kick off 2023, and it will operate at a steep loss even though that 40% decline should still equate to about $11 billion in quarterly sales.
The majority of Intel’s business is seeing yellow flag warnings, but Mobileye is seeing nothing but green. Revenue in 2022 was up 35% to $1.87 billion — including a 59% year-over-year increase in the fourth quarter to $565 million.
Automotive chips are still zipping along at a fast clip. The chip shortage brought on by the pandemic is finally easing for most markets, but automotive semiconductor manufacturers are reporting they are still fully booked through the rest of 2023 and into 2024. Consumer spending is beginning to wane and could impact auto