Fingerprint Cards mixed 2019 results and smart card patents in biometrics stocks news

Fingerprint Cards mixed 2019 results and smart card patents in biometrics stocks news

Most financial results for Fingerprint Cards in its most recent quarter are trending in the right direction, despite a decrease in revenues to SEK 381.4 million (US$52.2 million) from SEK 424.3 million ($58.1 million) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue was up 8 percent on a sequential basis for its quarter ending in December 2019, and the company reported cash flow from operating activities of SEK 82.4 million ($11.3 million), up from SEK 59.5 million ($8.1 million) in the previous quarter and negative SEK 26.1 million ($3.6 million) a year ago.

FPC reports a gross margin of 23 percent for the quarter, up 2 percent from the year before, and its operating result improved from a loss of SEK 25.5 million ($3.5 million) last year to a loss of SEK 15.3 million ($2.1 million). EPS before dilution were flat at negative SEK 0.06.

For full-year 2019, Fingerprint Cards reports revenue of SEK 1,458.6 million ($203.3 million), down from SEK 1,535.1 ($210.1 million), but with a gross margin improved from 0 percent to 23 percent. EBITDA leaped from negative SEK 505.2 million ($69.1 million) to positive SEK 128.7 million ($17.6 million), and EPS before dilution were negative SEK 0.04, following a result of negative SEK 2.01 in 2018.

Fingerprint Cards President and CEO Christian Fredrikson says in the statement that the company is not satisfied with its margins, and will work on keeping production costs down. It will also work on new products, and widening its application base.

“Expanding the business into new areas is a very important priority for Fingerprints. Biometrics is now genuinely on the way to making its entry into another global mass market: card payments,” Fredrikson comments. “Fingerprints’ products in this area are world-leading in terms of security, user-friendliness and performance, and it is very gratifying that our T-Shape sensor and biometric software platform for payments are being used in the world’s first commercial launch of biometric credit cards.”

The company launched a side-mounted capacitive sensor for mobile devices and was involved in the first commercial biometric credit card launch in the past quarter.

A series of six patent applications from Fingerprint Cards, pertaining to biometric authentication, facilitating transactions with biometrics, and updating biometric templates for smart cards has been published by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The patent applications for “Updating biometric data templates,” “Arrangement and method for facilitating a transaction,” “Fingerprint sensor module comprising a fingerprint sensor device and a substrate connected to the sensor device,” “Method and smart card adapted for progressive fingerprint enrollment,” “Biometrics-based remote login,” and “Methods for enrolling a user and for authentication of a user of an electronic device” were filed with the USPTO between February 13 and March 8, 2018, and published between January 2 and February 6, 2020. The patents include fingerprint-enabled smart card hardware and enrollment technology, related software, and information on manufacturing methods where relevant.

RealNetworks Founder doubles down

Rob Glaser, the founder, chairman of the board, CEO, and largest shareholder of RealNetworks has reached a private agreement to acquire approximately 8 million shares of the company’s Series B Preferred Stock. With a share price of $1.24, which RealNetworks shares closed at on February 7, the company raises gross proceeds of $10 million from the sale. Glaser owns approximately 37 percent of the company after the agreement, near the 38.5 percent cap imposed by existing and new agreements, according to the announcement.

“25 years ago I invested $1 million to help create what became RealNetworks,” comments Glaser. “Today I am pleased to invest an additional $10 million of my personal funds into the Company. I am making this investment because I believe the Company has a very promising future ahead of it. I am particularly enthusiastic about Real’s SAFR Computer Vision Platform and GameHouse free-to-play story-based casual games.”

3D facial biometrics on Android boosts Lumentum’s confidence

According to Equity News, business from Android device-makers is ramping up for Lumentum, which first gained fame as a supplier of vertical-cavity-surface-emitting laser arrays (VCSELs) for Apple’s 3D facial recognition.

The company posted revenues of $457.8 million in its second quarter of fiscal 2020, up slightly from the previous quarter and from $373.7 million in the same quarter of 2019. Gross margin by non-GAAP, also increased, reaching 47.4 percent.

“We expect a significant expansion in the market for world-facing 3D sensing lasers. From a financial model improvement standpoint, we have made substantial progress,” Lumentum CEO Alan Lowe said in an earnings call. “Still, we are not done attaining acquisition synergies and exiting the low margin products we have highlighted on prior calls. We believe we have sustainable technology leadership positions that make us indispensable to the multiple diverse growing markets we serve today and into the future.”

Lumentum acquired optical components-maker Oclaro in late-2018.

AMS seeks domination agreement with Osram

Facial recognition parts supplier AMS intends to use cash flow from Osram to pay back debt through a so-called domination agreement, Reuters reports.

AMS plans to enact a domination and profit and loss transfer agreement (DPLTA) by gaining 75 percent approval from Osram shareholders at an extraordinary shareholder meeting. AMS took a 60 percent stake in Osram with a December deal.

“We intend to implement a DPLTA to enable both companies to work together and realize our joint strategic vision of creating a global leader in sensor solutions and photonics in an efficient manner,” said AMS Chief Executive Alexander Everke.

Reuters writes that analysts have been skeptical that AMS could pay down its debts and achieve integration benefits of €300 million ($327 million), and that it will have to offer minority investors a guaranteed annual dividend or a cash settlement to gain support for the proposal.

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