Idex raises over $10M as biometrics companies report mix of revenue gains and optimism
The stock market continues to reflect an encouraging path ahead for biometrics companies, as Idex Biometrics has raised funds to support its growth plans and operations, while NEC and Nuance have reported positive financial results. Next Biometrics, GSI and Ipsidy reported more modest results, but also all note growth opportunities going forward. SuperCom has escaped minimum bid probation and some Ping shareholders are cashing in common stock.
Idex Biometrics raises $10.3M
Idex Biometrics has carried out a private placement to Norwegian and international investors, after retaining ABG Sundal Collier ASA as sole manager and bookrunner, raising approximately NOK 105 million (US$10.3 million).
The company had announced it was considering issuing between 65.3 and 100 million new shares, which would represent between 9.1 percent and 13.9 percent of its total outstanding shares. Proceeds would be used to fund growth opportunities and for general corporate purposes, according to the announcement.
The subscription price of NOK 1.60 per share and number of shares on offer were determined by Idex’ board of directors following the accelerated bookbuilding process on May 11 and 12. The placement included the allocation of 65.3 million new shares.
The minimum subscription and allocation amount for the private placement was the NOK equivalent of €100,000 (roughly US$109,000).
Idex Biometrics plans to release its Q1 2020 financial statements on May 14.
Next Biometrics sees improving sales pipeline and positive long-term market outlook
Next Biometrics has announced revenue of NOK 20.5 million ($2 million) for Q1 2020, up 122 percent from the previous quarter, though down 26 percent from the same quarter a year earlier.
EBITDA excluding options was negative NOK 33.6 million ($3.3 million), including non-recurring costs of NOK 4.4 million, a slight improvement on negative NOK 35.4 million ($3.5 million) in Q1 2019.
Next Biometrics had accelerated its cost reduction plan and says its sales pipeline has improved, and it is working on multiple opportunities with revenue potential beginning this year. While the COVID-19 pandemic creates short-term uncertainty, the long-term prognosis for the fingerprint sensor market is positive, the company says.
“The negative cashflow of the quarter is mainly driven by historic costs and prior contractual obligations,” comments Next CEO Peter Heuman. “Subsequent to quarter end, we have implemented additional efficiency and structural changes as a part of the turnaround. We are resetting the company and during Q4 2020 we will reach full effect related to target organisation and cost structure. We are targeting to become a customer and commercially focused technology company with a tangible growth agenda.”
NEC announces big gains for 2020
For its fiscal year ending on March 31, 2020, NEC has reported revenue of 3,095 billion yen ($28.9 billion) after revising its forecast up, an increase of 6.2 percent from full-year 2019.
Net profit for the year was 112.7 billion yen ($1.05 billion), a gain of more than 100 percent from the previous full-year result.
The company says its Safer Cities business is improving in profitability, and the company emphasized its telecommuting, facial recognition, and COVID-19 vaccine creation efforts among its solutions for the “new normal” caused by the pandemic in its earnings presentation.
Digital technologies like biometrics and AI are the first item mentioned by NEC in its discussion of growth achievements, with new partnerships and trials with Star Alliance, Lawson’s Inc. and Seven Bank expected to yield major revenues.
GSI reports optimism for large-scale facial recognition prospects
GSI Technology has reported results for its 2020 fiscal year’s fourth quarter and full year, with net revenues and gross margin down and operating expenses up over the equivalent periods last year.
In Q4, GSI posted a net loss of $3.8 million, or $0.16 per diluted share. For the year, GSI reports a net loss of $10.3 million, or $0.45 per diluted share. The company is in sound shape, however, holding cash, equivalents, short-term and long-term investments amounting to $70.7 million with no debt.
“Real-time search of large databases is an increasingly critical function transforming business, scientific and governmental processes. The volume and variety of data, as well as the high velocity required to search enormous datasets in real-time, uses lots of expensive GPUs and CPUs to deliver performance at scale,” comments GSI Chairman and CEO Lee-Lean Shu.
The company benchmarked its Gemini-I facial recognition engine in April in a billion-scale similarity search, which it says showed the speed, search accuracy on large datasets, a small footprint and low power consumption for a lower total cost of ownership. The company uses edge processing and a machine-trained database to deliver benefits that allow scientists to run multiple molecular queries at speeds far beyond current CPU capabilities, according to the announcement.
“Outreach is ongoing for facial recognition and drug discovery and drug toxicity applications, and we will commence engaging with military and government customers to use Gemini for signal and object detection and cryptography. Due to the current COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, we are building remote cloud-based workshops for demonstrations of Gemini-I functionality and training customers on our algorithms and software libraries. We anticipate beginning these training seminars in late May 2020.”
GSI set guidance for the current quarter of $7 million to $8.8 million in revenues, with gross margins of between 48 and 52 percent.
Nuance exceeds revenue guidance
Nuance Communications has exceeded the high end of its guidance for both revenue and earnings per share in its second quarter of fiscal 2020, driven by strong growth in Dragon Medical One and other cloud healthcare offerings.
The company reports GAAP revenue of $369.3 million and a loss per diluted share of $0.05, and on a non-GAAP basis had similar revenue but earnings per diluted share of $0.21.
Nuance has suffered minimal disruption from the pandemic so far, but has revised its guidance for the full year to reflect changes such as reduced elective hospital procedures.
“Despite the uncertain near-term operating environment, I believe the markets we serve will expand post COVID-19 as our customers appreciate the critical need for AI-based solutions, remote access capabilities for healthcare workers, and increased demand for telehealth, and security and fraud protection solutions,” comments Nuance CEO Mark Benjamin. “We remain an incredibly resilient company, and I am confident that we will emerge from this pandemic stronger.”
Ipsidy reports mostly flat Q1 results
In its first quarter of 2020, Ipsidy is reporting a net loss of $3.8 million on revenues of $0.8 million, compared to a $2.3 million net loss in Q1 2019 on $0.7 million in revenue.
Basic and diluted net loss per share was $0.01, after Ipsidy broke even on the same basis in Q1 last year. Charges relating the impact of COVID-19 on its South African business totaled approximately $1.8 million, and made up most of the different from the same quarter in the previous year.
Recent highlights for the company include an integration and distribution agreement with Temenos, a reseller and technology agreement with a provider of age and authentication technology for North American driver’s licenses, a reseller agreement with the Peruvian subsidiary of an international conglomerate, and multiple appointments.
“Recent developments have only highlighted the expanding need for remote onboarding of users, verifying identity and authenticating transactions everywhere,” says Philip Beck, chairman and CEO of Ipsidy. “The Ipsidy team continues to work on closing opportunities in the EMEA, LATAM and U.S. regions, with a focus on the financial, telecommunication and logistics sectors.”
SuperCom meets Nasdaq minimum bid
SuperCom has received official confirmation that it has regained compliance with the Nasdaq’s minimum bid price for continued listing. The exchange confirmed the company’s status in a letter dated May 7 after ten consecutive business days of a closing bid price in SuperCom common stock of at least $1.00 per share.
The company announced last week it has won a contract with a national government which is expected to be worth close to $1 million, and could double in value, to provide turnkey biometric identification solutions for eGov applications.
Ping shareholders offer common stock
Ping Identity is launching a public follow-on offering of common stock by some shareholders, with plans to offer 8.5 million shares as outlined in a Form S-1 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Some of the shareholders participating in the selling also plan to grant the underwriters purchase rights for up to 1.275 million additional shares under the same terms and conditions.
The offering will be made only through a prospectus, and company will not receive any proceeds from the sales.