Market Study Projects Global RFID Market to Reach $18.7 Billion by 2017

The technology used in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is not new, but global business continues to find additional lucrative applications for its use. Security and access control were among the initial drivers of RFID technology but now such applications as product security, inventory, production efficiency, shipping and importing, food safety, aviation and retail, just to name a few, are making use of RFID. A new market study by Global Industry Analysts has projected the world RFID market will hit $18.7 billion by 2017.

The small cap world is loaded with companies that use RFID technology as important parts of their business models.

RFID reader courtesy of Tootoo.com

Here are a few names, selected completely at random, that may be worth checking out. Remember: we are not recommending anything, but solely identifying some small companies that are publicly traded.

Israel-based B.O.S. Better Online Solutions (Nasdaq: BOSC, http://www.boscorporate.com), founded in 1990, provides an entire array of mobile and RFID solutions and supply chain solutions for enterprise logistics and organizational products. Its customer base is global but its market cap is tiny, only $2.95 million as of March 20. At mid-day March 26 BOSC stock was trading at $1.04, down 1 cent on the day, near the the bottom end of its 52-week range of $0.58-$3.67. If you’d like to learn more, tune in to the company’s fourth quarter and year-end conference call at 4 p.m. Israel time March 28.

Port Townsend, WA-based Intellicheck Mobilisa (AMEX: IDN, http://www.icmobile.com) provides commercial applications for reading and verification, government sales of defense security and identity card applications and develops wireless communications applications. Its products come in three areas: commercial identification, defense security and wireless applications. IDN bought Positive Access Corp. in August 2009. One product, IDv-Check, helps read and verify California and Canadian drivers’ licenses, among other things. At mid-day March 26 IDN stock was trading for $1.66, up 1 cent on the day, so far setting a new 52-week high. Low end of the range is $0.81.

Everett, WA-based Intermec (NYSE: IN, http://www.intermec.com) is a global business that designs, develops, integrates, sells and resells automated identification and data collection products and related services. Products include mobile computers, barcode scanners, printers, RFID products, among other things. On March 13, IN introduced two new desktop printers “perfect for space-constrained settings,” according to a press release. At mid-day March 26 IN stock was trading at $7.81, up 10 cents on the day. Its 52-week range is $5.87-$12.21 and its market cap is nearly $465 million.

Santa Ana, CA-based Identive Group * (Nasdaq: INVE, http://www.identive-group.com/) is a seller of physical and logical access control products, RFID products and identity management. CEO Ayman Ashour has built the company through acquisitions after coming over from HID Global, a division of Stockholm-based Assa Abloy, a major competitor. Identive is followed by several sellside research analysts.  At mid-day March 26 Identive was trading at $2.03, up 19 cents on the day. Its market cap is about $105 million and 52-week range is $1.37-$5.90.

* Denotes a client of Allen & Caron, publisher of this blog

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Don’t Get Caught in a Bear Trap; ‘The Bulls Will Rule September’

Today up triple digits. Tomorrow down triple digits. With the wobbly, volatile markets careening back and forth on a daily basis, several prominent investors separated from the pack this week and stepped boldly forward to suggest this is a time of “huge” opportunity with a strong bull market on the horizon.

One strong bull is Otis Bradley, who we have covered in the past and who continues to shuck off all chattering naysayers with his optimism. He called Tuesday, Sept. 6, “a truly remarkable day.” The Dow Industrials started off the day down more than 300 points and the S&P 500 threatened to break below “incredibly important” support levels. But the market roared back late that day, which Bradley sees as a very important sign of what’s ahead:

“The Transports rallied from minus 168 to minus 62; the Nasdaq f rom minus 66 to minus 7; the Russell 2000 from minus 20 to minus 2. That is not what a Bear Market–Secular or otherwise–would do.”

The swings in the market that continued throughout the week suggest how a bear market “rebounds from a Bear CORRECTION (emphasis his), not a secular bear.” Bradley goes on to suggest the past summer, especially August, represents a “huge buying opportunity” and a “significant Bear Trap.”

Then Forbes contributor Ali Meshkati posted a story on Sept. 7 with a headline “Look Out Bears, the Bulls Will Rule September” (http://www.forbes.com/sites/investor/2011/09/07/look-out-bears-the-bulls-will-rule-september/?partner=yahootix). He notes that “A move to 1300 or thereabouts on the S&P 500, as unlikely as it seems now, becomes extremely likely given the herd mentality and cookie cutter asset allocation models that fund managers follow in today’s version of Wall Street.”

We’ll watch and wait and see. In the meantime, here are four of Bradley speculative smallcaps:

Santa Ana, CA-based Identive Group * (Nasdaq: INVE, http://www.identive-group.com/), a seller of physical and logical access control products, RFID products and identity management. CEO Ayman Ashour has built the company through acquisitions after coming over from HID Global, a division of Stockholm-based Assa Abloy, a major competitor. INVE, with a market cap of about $108 million), closed Sept. 8 at $1.87. Its 52-week range is $1.37-$5.90.

Richland, WA-based IsoRay (AMEX: ISR, http://www.isoray.com/) manufactures and sells isotope-based medical products and devices to treat cancer, particularly brachytherapy seeds. ISR closed Sept. 8 up 5 cents to $1.16. The 52-week range is $1.73-$0.78.

West Palm Beach, FL-based Quepasa Corp. (AMEX: QPSA, http://quepasa.com/) operates quepasa.com, a social website for young Hispanics. Quepasa closed Sept. 8 at $4.50, down 13 cents. Back in late January is traded for $15.45, up from $3.35 last September.

Glen Allen, VA-based Star Scientific Inc. (Nasdaq:CIGX, http://www.starscientific.com/) has developed a tobacco technology that prevents the formation of carcinogenic toxins and also develops and markets some tobacco products. CIGX has been up and down several times. CIGX was trading at $4.08 on May 17, up from below $2 as recently as March. It closed Sept. 8 up 17 cents to $2.73. A few days ago (Sept. 6) it was named “one hot stock to avoid” by Motley Fool (http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/09/06/1-hot-stock-to-avoid.aspx).

Ft. Lauderdale, FL-based MAKO Surgical (Nasdaq: MAKO, http://www.makosurgical.com/), a maker of advanced robotic orthopedic devices, has been on a roll. It closed Sept. 8 down 87 cents to $37.13. When we last checked, on May 17, it was $27.14. Its market cap was $377 million on Sept. 14, 2010; by May 17 it was $630 million and on Sept. 8, 2011 it was $1.54 billion.

Scotts Valley, CA-based VirnetX Holding Corp. (Amex: VHC, http://www.virnetx.com/) is a developer of software and technology for securing real time security solutions over the Internet. VHC had been on a tear until late summer. In November 2009 it was trading at $1.95. By last Sept. 14 it had jumped to $11.16. By May 17 VHC was trading for $23.34 and has been as high as $41.77. But the market corrections hit VHC pretty hard. It closed Sept. 8 down 55 cents to $21.41.