• Jan. 15, 2014, 12:43 PM
    • Control4 (CTRL +16.9%) is now up 62% since Google announced its $3.2B acquisition of Nest on Monday afternoon, as hopes grow another tech giant will decide to acquire the home automation hardware/software vendor in response to Google's move.
    • Today's gains are coming with the help of a bullish coverage launch from Dougherty: The firm argues Control4's broad product line and affordable pricing are "designed to move home automation from a niche market of high-end homes into the mainstream."
    • Control4's market cap ($674M) remains barely 1/5 of the valuation assigned by Google to Nest, and its price/sales multiples are doubtlessly much lower (shares currently go for 4.5x 2014E sales). But its growth rate is also likely much lower than Nest's (sales are expected to rise 17% in 2014).
    • While Control4 continues surging, age-old home/industrial automation play Echelon (ELON -8.8%) is giving back a chunk of yesterday's big gains.
    Jan. 15, 2014, 12:43 PM
  • Jan. 14, 2014, 10:08 AM
    • Home automation hardware/software vendors Echelon (ELON +38.3%) and Control4 (CTRL +18.8%) are blasting off in response to Google's $3.2B acquisition of intelligent thermostat/smoke alarm maker Nest.
    • A smart wager or irrational exuberance? Investors appear to be betting Google's move will spark broader M&A activity in the home automation space, as tech giants strive to build end-to-end platforms for connected homes. A year ago, Microsoft bought home automation/media-sharing software firm R2 Studios.
    • Cowen observes Control4 has formed a partnership with Nest that allows the former's apps and remotes to control the latter's hardware.
    • Robotics plays received a similar boost last month after Google bought defense robot maker Boston Dynamics.
    Jan. 14, 2014, 10:08 AM | 2 Comments
  • Jun. 18, 2012, 11:17 AM

    Quanta (PWR +.08%), Echelon (ELON -0.9%) and EnerNOC (ENOC +11.5%) are all potential takeout candidates in the smart grid space, says Piper Jaffray, after Elster (ELT +15.2%) confirmed it's in talks with Melrose to be bought for $20.50 per share. Piper notes Melrose's current bid is below recent smart grid takeout multiples, but in-line with its $21 price target for Elster.

    Jun. 18, 2012, 11:17 AM