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High-tech, precision, enviable industrial expertise... Comet is the gold standard for Swiss companies. This Fribourg-based company is known for its X-ray solutions. They are used by several automobile and aeronautics firms, from Mercedes to Boeing, to test the quality of their materials and components, as well as to check merchandise and baggage in border crossing points and airports.
However, this is only one aspect of Comet’s business. The Swiss company has two other irons in the fire. The first is a product known as the e-beam, which allows surfaces to be sterilised without the use of chemicals – and therefore in a more eco-friendly way – by treating them with electron beams. The second are products known as vacuum capacitors, targeted at semi-conductor manufacturers and used to make electronic chips, LCD and LED screens, and in solar panels. Over the last few years, vacuum capacitors have been performing excellently and driving the group’s growth, making up nearly 50% of revenues.
“The outlook for the future is generally positive,” notes Reto Amstalden of Baader Helvea, “but most of all because of the boom in the semi-conductor sector.” In contrast, the future of the e-beam is less certain. “Comet has made major investments in building partnerships and developing this market, but without any tangible results for the moment. Given that the valuation of the firm is already rather high, we currently recommend holding on to the share.”