Businesses profiting from the continuous evolution of technology is nothing new. From Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) being the first to use computers in banks to the proliferation of fax machines, personal computers, and mobile digital devices, technology has positively affected or influenced businesses by boosting the bottom line and creating entirely new profit centers. One of the latest things in technology to have a positive influence on business is augmented reality, and particularly the upcoming launch of Google Glass. From entertainment uses to training military and police to helping improve healthcare, augmented reality provides a way to make things better and make better things. Using this technology, Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) introduction of Google Glass will pave the way for industries such as aerospace and defense, healthcare, entertainment, and construction to profit from this revolutionary technology. Here are four companies to invest in now that will profit nicely implementing Google Glass.
A Good Defense
Google Glass can assist soldiers on the battlefield. While many soldiers are already using similar augmented-reality technology for training simulations, Google Glass would offer even more options. One company already looking to implement augmented reality technology is Raytheon (NYSE:RTN). Raytheon's Advanced Warfighter Awareness for Real-time Engagement (AWARE) system has a monocle display with a high-tech mapping system that identifies coordinates based on a soldier's location, making it easier to call in airstrikes. The release of Google Glass would allow Raytheon to adapt the wearable computer to this new system. Other defense companies looking to provide smart display capabilities to combat units include both Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) and L-3 Communications (NYSE:LLL). However, I like Raytheon based on its recent growth and its use of technology in the defense sector.
Raytheon is a 91-year-old technology and innovation company specializing in defense, security, and civil markets throughout the world. It has been securing contracts with the U.S. military, taking on projects with unique sophistication. The company was recently awarded a $243 million contract with the U.S. Navy. In August, it was awarded a Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) maritime border security contract for the Philippines valued at up to $18 million. While the defense industry has not been a very popular sector, Raytheon has shined the brightest. In early 2013, the company cut its full-year booking guidance by $400 million to $600 million due to U.S. budget cuts. This could have been depressing for investors, but Raytheon has seen a boost in margins as its stock has soared nearly 40% in 2013.
The company has a strong recent history of dividend growth, increasing it every year since 2005, with a five-year CAGR of 14.5%. The payout ratio is 38%. Net income for the company has increased 2.2% year over year on average across the last five quarters. The biggest gain came in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, when income climbed 18.3% from the year-earlier quarter. The stock is cheap at around $76, and with a P/E of 12.5 and a dividend yield of 2.98%, Raytheon will make a good long-term investment.
Here's to Your Health
Dr. Christopher Kaeding, director of sports medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, was the first to use Google Glass during surgery. He used the technology to work with a distant colleague using a live, point-of-view video from his operating room via Google Glass, augmented by a head-mounted computer and camera device. Dr. Kaeding was quoted as saying, "To be honest, once we got into the surgery, I often forgot the device was there. It just seemed very intuitive and fit seamlessly." Google Glass will certainly change the way medical procedures are performed and theoretically doctors could use voice commands and Google Glass in combo to instantly call up X-ray or MRI images of their patient, pathology reports, and reference materials.
One healthcare company that could definitely profit from Google Glass is HealthSouth (NYSE:HLS). The company's surgical and rehabilitation services could profit from Google Glass by using it in the care of its patients for detailed procedures like the one Dr. Kaeding performed. HealthSouth owns and operates inpatient rehabilitation hospitals that provide specialized rehabilitative treatment on an inpatient and outpatient basis in the United States. Its inpatient rehabilitation hospitals offer specialized rehabilitative care services to patients in various medical conditions, such as strokes, head injuries, neurological disorders, hip fractures, and spinal cord injuries.
The company is already attractive with a third-quarter average estimate for revenue at $554.3 million and the average EPS estimate is $0.41. The 2013 second-quarter results revealed that net operating revenues were $564.5 million compared to $533.4 million for the second quarter of 2012, or an increase of 5.8%, and that adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended June 30, 2013, was $134.5 million compared to $125.1 million for the three months ended June 30, 2012, or an increase of 7.5%. This past July, the company's board of directors approved the initiation of a quarterly cash dividend on its common stock of $0.18 per share, representing $0.72 per share annually.
Unfortunately, the company had faced some scandalous accusations back in 2003 regarding the CEO, which later proved to be true. HealthSouth paid the price in a huge dip in its stock price (dropping from $20 to $0.45 per share), but it appears as if the company is back on track and stronger than ever. The addition of Google Glass for use at the company's hospitals would be a logical as well as profitable move. I believe the company is one to buy now and hold for quite some time.
One industry Google Glass is expected to make a significant impact in is the world of entertainment. The ideas of creative apps and devices working in conjunction with Google Glass are unlimited in this sector. In fact, the world of augmented reality itself is practically centered on providing new or enhancing existing entertainment venues.
One company poised to profit from Google Glass is Infinity Augmented Reality (Infinity AR) (OTCQB:ALSO). Infinity AR is known for its platform that can connect Google Glass to an iPad or iPhone. The company came up its Virtual Media Center that takes ordinary entertainment -- such as television, music, and sporting events -- and makes it more real and lifelike for the user. This new medium combines Infinity AR's software platform with Google Glass that opens a new world of entertainment for the user.
Combined with Google Glass, the Virtual Media Center makes events such as concerts become more enjoyable since the user can virtually have the performer in his or her living room. For example, when the user wants to enjoy a Justin Bieber or Beyoncé concert, he can choose to view it using his digital eyewear, smartphone, or tablet and through Google Glass, it will be as if he is at the concert. He will also be able to choose within various segments of the glasses to focus on the lead singer, just the band, or the entire show from different angles. With this new medium of entertainment, performing artists and recording studios can profit as users pay to download a particular concert to view. For the end user, the experience will be as if he or she were there at the concert viewing it live. This company may be poised well for speculative investors who are willing to take a risk betting on the increasing demand for this form of entertainment. As with many of these challenging over-the-counter stocks there is a great risk potential, but great reward as well. This is another one I believe is worth buying now for the long haul.
Build On It
Augmented reality is a technical term for overlaying data onto real world scenes. In that sense, Google Glass is perfect for companies in the construction industry. Using an augmented reality app that could take blueprints or 3D models and overlay them on a layout of the construction site in progress could save in both labor and material costs. The built-in camera in Google Glass would help to report the progress or any challenges from the job site back to the office. The ability to take phone calls and compose messages and emails hands-free from the site would no doubt be helpful as well.
One company in the construction industry that would benefit greatly is Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (NYSE:JEC), because of the company's increased use of technology in the field. The company would profit from Google Glass using its augmented reality features for clarity of blueprints and job progression. Jacobs Engineering, located in Pasadena, Calif., is a technical professional services firm providing a diverse range of technical, professional, and construction services to a number of industrial, commercial, and governmental clients. The company operates two divisions. One is technical/professional services, which contributed to 60% of 2012 revenue and is comprised of engineering, design, scientific testing and architectural work. Making up the remaining 40% is field services, which includes construction, facility management, and ongoing maintenance and repair.
Jacobs Engineering has numerous construction and engineering contracts around the globe. The company was recently awarded a $9 million contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide a variety of Architect/Engineer services. The company was also selected to provide engineering services for NatureWorks' new Ingeo production plant in Southeast Asia. Ingeo is a biopolymer made from locally abundant renewable plant materials. The company's third-quarter results reveal $1.30 billion in cash and equivalents with the company operating with $445 million in total debt for a solid net cash position of around $850 million. Compared to this time last year, revenues were up 7% at $8.68 billion and net earnings rose by 15.0% to $312.3 million. Given the current rate, annual revenues should reach $11.7 billion, while earnings should come in at about $450 million.
The stock is currently trading at around $58 per share and operating assets of the firm are valued at 0.6 times annual revenues and 15 times annual earnings. Implementing Google Glass would benefit Jacobs Engineering in performance as well as cost savings. I would buy and hold on to this stock.
Anticipating the next big thing has always been a challenge for investors. Even awaiting IPOs in anticipation of spectacular earnings can be a gamble. Knowing that a new technology such as augmented reality in a hardware tool such as Google Glass is coming can help to reduce the gamble. By 2018, it is estimated that Google Glass will grow to 21.1 million unit sales per year. The number of uses of this wearable computer continues to grow as more businesses realize more and more possibilities. These four companies, in four different sectors, will benefit greatly from Google Glass and will make long-term investors happy.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.