Sunday, April 01, 2012

Intellicheck Mobilisa (IDN) Shows Its Identification

I've been following Intellicheck Mobilisa (IDN) for about two years.  They have some intriguing technology and  I'd like to see them achieve some real business success.  Their management team is certainly capable enough and has been around long enough to turn this maker of ID scanners into a consistently profitable company.

Part of the problem is the structure of their market.  They sell handheld ID scanners to government agencies.  Breaking into the market is difficult for a small firm because they have to compete against existing products from large defense firms.  If scanners are built to last and the physical configuration of the cards they read hardly changes, the market can fill up pretty quickly and stay full for years.  Intellicheck is doing some strategic things right by being located in a HUB Zone and being listed in the GSA Register.  Local military installation commanders do have a wide degree of latitude over procurement for local security solutions.  Intellicheck could help itself with more visibility at military-related trade shows and more effort in areas where military and federal installations are highly concentrated.

I often root for the little guy and the security market badly needs a diverse supply base.  Intellicheck's challenge is to turn the momentum they get from their publicly announced milestones into consistent earnings.  Competing for homeland security news recognition and getting recognition as a fast-growing tech company only go so far.  IDN's share price was north of $7 in the spring of 2007 until it collapsed in 2008 along with the rest of the market.  Since then it has gone pretty much nowhere for years with the exception of a brief run-up to about four bucks in early 2010.  The stock even managed to slide during much of the last decade while the U.S. has spent enormous sums on defense.  Intellicheck's strategy must evolve beyond the basics if it is to thrive during the coming years of severe cuts in defense spending.

Full disclosure:  No position in IDN at this time.