Can you see the nLight?

nLight hopes to list its stock on the Nasdaq market under the symbol LASR - good news for the laser industry.

Allen Nogee 720

On March 30th, nLight of Vancouver, WA filed documents as to its intentions of an initial public offering of its common stock. nLight hopes to list its stock on the Nasdaq market under the symbol LASR. It’s quite amazing that no other laser company has requested that symbol yet, but considering the limited number of laser companies that are public, this is quite understandable. If you were at January’s Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar held during SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco, you may have seen Scott Keeney, nLight’s CEO, President, and co-founder, give the keynote.

Related Coverage: The 30th Annual Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar—More good news ahead, in-depth coverage of the keynotes, interviews, and panels

Related Article: The power of brilliance -- the past and future of high-power semiconductor lasers, by CEO of nLight Scott Keeney and colleagues

I have followed nLight for many years now and watched their rapid growth. The company was founded in 2000 and currently has around 1000 employees. The company has championed the sale of small 15W to 250W fiber-coupled semiconductor lasers, but the company also produces a line of high-power fiber lasers ranging up to 8KW, and perhaps this is perhaps the most interesting part of the company.

In some way, because of its fiber laser portfolio, I have always considered nLight to be a competitor to IPG Photonics (NASD: IPGP), with nLight in 2017 having roughly 10% of the revenue than of IPG. Between 2016 and 2017, IPG’s revenue grew at a rate of 40%, whereby nLight’s revenue grew by 37%, but if you look at the period between 2011 and 2017, IPG’s revenue grew at a compound rate of about 20% per year, verses 12% for nLight. Still, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12% over these years is a fantastic growth for a laser company.

To read the full blog from Allen Nogee, click here.

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