Metaverse stocks are nowhere near as popular as they were a few years ago. They’re seen as high-risk now. Rewind to late-2021 and it was just as easy to speculate that they were a surefire ticket to riches.
At that time, investors were scrambling to understand what the metaverse was, and what it could be. Indeed, this space was one which promised a new future, and one which could be monetized. Now, investors aren’t so sure.
Metaverse stocks then reached a frenzied pitch when Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) undertook its rebrand in late October of that year. However, since then, the company’s spending has looked more like a black hole than the future. Thus, cost-cutting has been viewed as a positive for the social media giant, and investors are less excited about ramped-up metaverse spending than ever before.
That said, I do believe that metaverse stocks remain relevant and continue to have legitimate potential. Of course, investors have to recognize that these are boom or bust bets.
With that, let’s look at some of the riskier metaverse stocks that can swing either way.
Matterport (NASDAQ:MTTR) stock is difficult to judge regarding its hero or zero status. The 3D data platform firm has some real difficulties and some real issues. However, it’s difficult to escape the notion that Matterport simply got caught up in an overhyped fad, and the success it quickly had and lost wasn’t really its fault.
What I mean is this – Matterport is a company that had its IPO in early-2021. The company promised to digitize the physical world. That was enough for many investors, whose belief in the metaverse at that time had them overzealously searching for every opportunity. Matterport wasn’t building a metaverse world or anything particularly risky. Instead, it was more of a picks-and-shovels investment. It was hyped to be the company to digitize the physical world.
As a result, the company’s share price surged from its $12 IPO level to $28 by late-2021. However, the metaverse hype eventually fizzled, sending MTTR stock into a tailspin (below $3 per share today).
That said, the company continues to grow revenues to this day. And while losses are substantial, investors have grown acutely aware that if the metaverse doesn’t get monetized more quickly, such companies are unlikely to see their previous valuations ever again.
While this may be closer to a zero than a hero right now, there’s certainly upside if the company can show it can monetize its offering, and provide a pathway for positive earnings down the road.
It’s tempting to categorize Roblox (NYSE:RBLX) in a similar bucket as Matterport. Based on price movement, they’ve both disappointed. Both companies had their IPOs around the same time, benefited from a run-up in price, and peaked in late-2021, only to end up well below their IPO prices today.
But Roblox is more hero than zero, even though IPO investors are still down 40% or so. That’s because Roblox continues to build a valuable platform that boasts strong growth and engagement metrics.
Roblox drives serious revenue, with $655.3 million of revenue generated in the first quarter alone. That represents a 22% increase year-over-year. Average daily active users also increased by the percentage. All of that continued potential makes it much easier to overlook Roblox’s $268 million net loss in Q1.
Roblox certainly has to increase operational efficiency sooner rather than later. However, as long as it can continue to grow and remain relevant, there isn’t that much pressure yet. Gaming is an attractive sector, and Roblox benefits from being a builder’s platform for gaming experiences. That’ll continue to matter, and Roblox can continue to chase hero status as a result.
Immersion Corp. (IMMR)
Immersion Corp. (NASDAQ:IMMR) is a company operating in the business of haptics software. Haptics refers to the technology that reproduces the sensations a user would feel in reality when placed in simulated environments.
The company sells across multiple industries, including automotive, gaming, and mobile devices. It’s also a relatively small firm overall. The company reported just over $7 million in first-quarter revenues. That revenue came in a period of slightly-negative growth on a year-over-year basis.
Immersion Corp. looks to be a reasonably healthy company. It doesn’t produce losses, instead boasting a net income of $8.27 million this quarter and $5.1 million a year earlier. Immersion Corp. is a solid company. It’s the kind of company that belongs in portfolios that seek exposure to gaming, tech, and the potential of the metaverse.
But is it a hero? No, not really. It’s not the type of company that will grow to become a giant anytime soon or likely ever. Not a hero and not a zero, just a solid company overall.
On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.