Mobileye jumps on deal with carmakers for driverless data
Mobileye NV, the Jerusalem-based maker of chips and software for driverless cars, jumped the most in six months after announcing a strategic partnership with HERE, the mapping consortium forged by German automakers.
Shares of Mobileye rose 9.8 percent to $38.44 in New York, the most since June 30. The stock is still down 9.1 percent this year.
Automakers and technology companies are rushing to form partnerships to compete in self-driving technology with Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which has already clocked 2 million miles of public road tests. BMW AG, Audi AG and Daimler AG agreed to buy Nokia Oyj’s digital-map unit in August 2015 to gain technology for connected cars. Under the strategic partnership announced Thursday, Mobileye’s technology, which uses sensors and data analysis to localize a car’s position on the road in real time, will be integrated into HERE’s navigational-mapping technology, the companies said in a statement.
“This validates our view that ‘map companies’ are partners/customers of Mobileye, not competitors,” David Leiker, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co. in Milwaukee, said in a research note. The announcement reinforces Mobileye’s “substantial and expanding moat in autonomous driving.”
While Mobileye is a favorite on Wall Street — 18 out 23 analysts covering the the stock rate it a buy — the shares have tumbled this year amid concern the company will face tougher competition. Mobileye has 65 percent of the market for advanced driver-assistance systems, according to Baird. A public spat with Tesla Motors Inc. earlier this year and attacks from short-seller Citron Research have also weighed on the shares.
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