Zwipe and Thales earnings plus Goodix and Amazon in biometrics stocks news

Zwipe and Thales earnings plus Goodix and Amazon in biometrics stocks news

Zwipe has reported revenues of NOK 1.5 million (US$160,000 ) in full-year 2019, as it switches to a focus on biometric payment cards, which receive most of the attention in the company’s annual report.

Interestingly, the balance between the company’s payment and access control flipped from fiscal 2018, with payment revenues rising from NOK 800,000 ($85,200) to NOK 1.3 million ($140,000) and access control revenues falling from NOK 1.5 million ($160,000) to NOK 200,000 ($21,300). EBITDA was negative NOK 92 million ($9.8 million), including over NOK 14 million ($1.5 million) between investment with Idemia and restructuring costs. Earnings per share during the year were negative NOK 5.98 ($0.64), and improvement of a per-share loss of NOK 7.86 ($0.84) the year before.

Zwipe CEO André Løvestam called 2019 “exciting” for the company in the report, and notes that it made progress towards commercializing a “market-leading technology offering.”

The market take-off time for biometric payment cards is lagging previous expectations by one to two years, Løvestam says.

Investment analysis firm Redeye recently added Zwipe to its coverage in anticipation of the biometric smartcard market’s take-off.

Zwipe opened 2019 by joining the Oslo Børs Merkur Market, and began 2020 with a listing on Nasdaq First North, bookending an eventful year of new partnerships and new offerings.

Thales reports earnings after smooth integration of Gemalto

Thales sales increased by more than 16 percent to €18.4 billion (US$20.2 billion), boosted from 0.8 percent organic growth by the acquisition of Gemalto, in its fiscal 2019 year.

Consolidated net income reported by Thales for 2019 is €1.12 billion ($1.23 billion), up 14 percent, and the company has issued a €2.65 ($2.91) dividend, up 27 percent from last year. EBIT margin was 10.9 percent.

“Thanks to the commitment of its 80,000 employees, Thales ended 2019 with a commercially very dynamic fourth quarter. The booking of 12 projects over €100 million in the last quarter drove us significantly above our order intake objective. After recording growth above 5 percent in the past three years, sales slowed down due to the commercial Space market downturn and an exceptionally high basis of comparison in Transport. EBIT and adjusted net income were up 19 percent, boosted by the smooth integration of Gemalto,” comments Thales Chairman and CEO Patrice Cain.

“Our roadmap between now and 2023 remains unchanged. We are focused on generating profitable growth sustainably.

“In a global 2020 environment with several uncertainties, Thales’s business model, which is both balanced and resilient, is more than ever creating value.”

For 2020, Thales is expecting sales of between €19 billion and €19.5 billion ($20.9 billion and $21.4 billion), and an EBIT margin of 10.8 to 11 percent.

Goodix implementations to support 5G flagship mobile devices

Goodix has announced a pair of new implementations of its fingerprint biometrics for 5G flagship products in a Tweet.

The Huawei Mate Xs is integrating the company’s side-key capacitive fingerprint solution, while the realme X50 Pro 5G features Goodix’ optical in-display fingerprint sensor.

A Goodix biometric patent was recently declared invalid by the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), casting uncertainty on an IP infringement suit against Egis Technology.

Amazon faces renewed shareholder push to review facial recognition business

Amazon shareholders have filed at least 14 resolutions relating to environmental, social and governance issues to be dealt with at its annual shareholders meeting in May, Pensions & Investments reports, including a demand for an independent study of the company’s facial recognition by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responaibility (ICCR).

The ICCR has published a resolution calling for a report to be published by September 1, 2020, detailing the extent of risk to privacy and civil rights from the technology’s use, along with whether it has been sold to authoritarian or repressive governments, and the financial risk associated with loss of goodwill and other issues.

“There is little evidence our Board of Directors, as part of its fiduciary oversight, has rigorously assessed risks to Amazon’s financial performance associated with privacy and human rights threats to customers and other stakeholders,” the ICCR writes.

Another group proposed a similar resolution last year, and was ultimately unsuccessful, though the SEC did rule that its request was appropriate. The ICCRE letter notes that the 2019 proposal received 28 percent shareholder support.

Amazon has challenged six of the ICCR’s 12 proposals with the SEC so far. The other proposals relate to executive compensation, diversity goals, lobbying disclosure, and pay equity.

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