There may be a silent period in effect for Implant Sciences (IMSC) in relation to a potential approval by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for the Quantum Sniffer (QS) B220 benchtop explosive trace detection (ETD) device, but that doesn't mean 'business as usual' also has to remain silent.
As discussed last week, the B220 has already "successfully completed the certification readiness testing" with the Transportation Security Laboratory (TSL) - the testing body of the TSA - and has moved on to the "final independent validation testing for TSA qualification for air cargo screening" - hence the quiet period. While the approval and validation process is moving on behind the scenes, however, the B220 is still making a name for itself with entities not associated with the US government.
According to a press release issued on Wednesday, Implant has sold its B220 to a "major European airport." The QS technology fits right into the European strategy for airport security screening because of its ability to screen for explosives without using radioactive particles or materials to do so. European authorities, in late 2011, banned the use of screening devices that do, offering a leg-up for Implant's QS line in negotiating European deals.
Implant Sciences' Global Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Darryl Jones - who defected to the company from competitor Morpho Detection and is a veteran of GE Security (GE), as well - noted in relation to the European sale:
"Radiation concerns weigh heavily in the decision processes of European customers. Because our Quantum Sniffers do not use a radioactive source, they become a natural choice for European security equipment purchasers. Our desktop model's intuitive and easy-to-use interface is a strong competitive advantage for our product and proved to be a key factor in the purchase decision."
The specific monetary terms of the deal were not disclosed in the release, but this is another of a growing list of customers in various countries becoming believers in the Sniffer technology.
Bear in mind, that while new orders are a solid validation of growth potential, the most significant pending catalysts are the TSA approval - from which investors should know the outcome by the end of the quarter - and the December 3rd mandate by the TSA that directs all inbound-US air cargo on passenger airliners to be screened for explosive traces; although the mandate catalyst will not bode as significant without first receiving the TSA approval.
The orders will still roll in from around the world, regardless, but the TSA approval - because of the huge sign of validation that a TSA approval would send around the world - would allow Implant to 'take it to the next level' and move to the mainstream of homeland security. It is also my pure speculation that Implant would look to move its shares from the pink sheets to a more legitimate trading platform, should this pending catalyst unfold, and possibly even change its name, as mentioned by the company CEO in an interview earlier this year. Further speculation could also argue that a much larger player in the ETD market would look to make an all-out purchase of the company, too, while the company is still in the earlier stages of growth.
Some are concerned about the company's immediate financing concerns, and it's wise for all investors to entertain the financial state of companies in which they invest, but common sense would indicate that a creditor would not necessarily want to kill a company that they've funded for years when that company may be on the verge of a robust growth phase. Nothing can help a company better than sales, and for Implant Sciences the orders and re-orders have been rolling in at a steady pace while the TSA approval could set the stage for the aforementioned phase of robust growth.
Again, though, do entertain all sides of the story, conduct individual DD and come to your own conclusions. No one should make investment decisions based solely on what 'this guy' or 'that guy' has to say. This is just a starting point.
Trading volume has been steady while the share price has fluctuated, but the interest in IMSC is there - as evidenced by the immediate share price spike following Wednesday's PR. Once investors absorbed the fact that the PR was not "The News" that we're waiting on, the share price tailed back down and closed relatively flat for the day.
One of the hotter stories to watch these days. This calendar-year third quarter catalyst is as big for the company as an FDA approval for a small biotech.
Disclosure: Long IMSC.
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