Implant Sciences (IMSC) may have just announced the most significant and potentially market-moving news in company history on Wednesday when it was revealed in a spontaneous conference call that the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had approved Implant's Quantum Sniffer (QS)-B220 explosive trace detector for use in air cargo screening. This ruling could be considered the 'holy grail' of the validation process for Implant Sciences as it allows the QS technology to be listed in the next edition of the 'Air Cargo Screening Technology List' and opens up a new - and potentially very lucrative - avenue for revenue. It also offers a huge round of validation for the technology, as many government agencies - both in the US and around the globe - follow TSA validation guidelines in regards to their purchases. It's quite possible that now, with TSA approval in the bag, orders from these countries and agencies will start flowing in, providing a significant boost to the company's revenue stream and sparking a rally in the IMSC share price.
Already shares closed twenty three percent higher on Wednesday and - with volume well more than ten times the daily average - may be positioning to move even higher during the coming days and weeks. It was noted during Wednesday's call that the company expected to beat the revenue numbers of the latest guidance, which were in the range of seven million dollars, moving forward from this point. The TSA approval opens the path for government contracts to start rolling in, which often times come with bulk orders, and help the company meet the revised expectations. Of relevance the TSA has mandated that - as of 3 December - all cargo in-bound to the US on passenger aircraft will be screened for explosives. This is a market that Implant Sciences intends to exploit and given the benefits that the QS technology holds over the competitive standard currently on the market, there is reason to believe that market penetration could materialize quickly.
Contracts awarded to other firms in this arena have been valued in the tens of millions of dollars, and only one such contract for IMSC would likely lead to a swift move to a market cap to the north side of one hundred million for IMSC, with the possibility of a quick push even higher if a steady stream of orders starts flowing in from customers who may have been awaiting this milestone news before placing orders.
As noted by company officials during Wedensday's call, the QS-B220 can now be sold to "everyone, everywhere," with this approval, "and that wasn't the case before." With that being said, speculation alone may push the share price towards - or even higher than - the two dollar mark, as Implant could now be considered a major player in the homeland defense and air security markets. It is also safe to assume, judging from statements made on Wednesday in that call, that the company expects to shortly be able to bank ten million dollars-plus per quarter. Such a scenario, that comes along with increasing revenue on a quarter-over-quarter basis, will have investors looking back at the current share prices as a steal, even after Wednesday's jump.
Another item that investors will key on, and came up in Wednesday's call during the questions and answers session, is the nearly thirty million dollars in debt that Implant carries forward. The company came to an agreement with its primary secured lender, DMRJ Group LLC, late last year to extended much of that debt until the end of March of this year. The extension at the time provided the company a full two quarters of development and progress before Implant had to worry about any of it coming due - and maybe most importantly, allowed for time for the TSA to finalize its validation process.
Since the approval puts the company on much more solid footing today than it was when the deal was extended, it's hard to believe that DMRJ would not continue to work with Implant to structure the debt repayment in a manner that benefits both parties. Much like SiriusXM (SIRI), another still-growing company who a couple of years ago had loads of debt coming due, expect Implant to push a significant amount of its revenue growth towards debt repayment when the opportunities arise. Cash will also be pushed towards meeting product demand, research and development and even towards a listing on a major exchange, as it was noted in the call that a ticker on the Nasdaq is the ultimate goal.
With a cooperative lender in place and a TSA approval on the books, Implant can concentrate its resources on expanding its presence in a market that is growing by the billions of dollars. The competitive benefits of the Quantum Sniffer technology could attract quick global attention from those players who may have been sitting on the sidelines awaiting TSA approval.
Possibly the most significant advantage is that the ionization process used to detect explosives - and/or narcotics - contains no radioactive particles. That not only eliminates any safety concerns for personnel using or being inspected by Sniffer technology, but it also eliminates the added layers of licensing and regulatory concerns that would be included in any implementation plans.
Just as significant a benefit is the quick "clear down" process for the QS. "Clear down" is the amount of time needed for a system to 'reset' itself after use before it is available for another round of inspection and detection. Implant's Sniffers can complete this process within seconds, while the standard for the competition is minutes. That's huge, when considering the need for speed and efficiency in meeting today's high demand for bulk cargo inspections, let alone the demands implemented the TSA's air cargo mandate.
Implant can also be considered a 'patriotic play,' as it is the only American company to have passed the rugged TSA validation process in this arena. In a time when American companies and the US government are looking for internal options, Implant stands to make a competitive play in the homeland defense and air security markets.
Additional advantages, as outlined on Implant's website, are very high ratings for accuracy - especially when compared to x-ray - and extremely low 'false positive' rates. In noting these distinct advantages, there's reason to believe that Implant is positioned to make a jump to the big leagues and mainstream of global defense, and compete head-to-head with the likes of the UK's Smith's Detection (SMGZY.PK).
Such a jump may be swift, as this company has been laying a foundation for some time. Some key additions to the management team have been added over the past year or so and not only added an extra layer of credibility to the still-growing company, but provided an 'in' with relevant entities in the homeland defense arena and ensured that the right personnel were in place to complete the mission of growth, once/if full TSA validation became a reality.
Dr. Bill McGann, for example, a pioneer of trace detection technology was appointed just months ago as the Chief Operating Officer and was added as a member of the company's Board. Dr. McGann co-founded Ion Track Instruments, the first ETD provider to receive TSA certification, and subsequently sold that company to General Electric (GE) for nearly $200 million before becoming the Chief Technology Officer for GE Security.
Implant also added Dr. Darryl Jones as the VP of Sales and Marketing. Dr. Jones was another addition also heavily-embedded in the homeland security market and is also a veteran of GE Security. He also has a tour under his belt of leading sales and marketing for Safran's Morpho Detection.
The pieces had already been falling into place in terms of revenue growth lately, as numerous orders have been announced over the past months with increasing lot sizes, and there's reason to believe that the pace of new orders will pick up even more rapidly now, with TSA approval in the bag.
It may also be worth entertaining the possibilities of a buyout. The TSA approval is a noted milestone and other big players in the sector may see it more beneficial to throw an offer to Implant while it trades on the relative cheap, rather than face stiff competition on the open market.
Implant Sciences has just entered the mainstream and judging by the huge bump in volume and share price, the company's stock could be positioning for a move to the upside over the coming weeks and quarters. Some periods of pullback and consolidation may take place, as IMSC is likely to trade in similar fashion to a developing drug company who just received FDA approval. The difference being, a drug company usually has some time to wait before it can launch its product post-approval.
Implant is ready to go now.
As the company is positioned to start realizing significant growth, shares could trade with significant volatility until investors can gauge more accurately how quickly orders will flow in and boost the revenue stream. There will also likely be quite a bit of consolidation moving forward over the short term, which should open up numerous trading and accumulation opportunities for both short and long term investors.
With a potentially ground-breaking product approved to enter a multi-billion dollar market, Implant Sciences is a hot one to consider moving forward.
Disclosure: Long IMSC, GE.
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