The Hot Cell Therapy Space Needs This Company’s Cold Solutions

Mar 23

The Hot Cell Therapy Space Needs This Company’s Cold Solutions

What is “cell therapy”?… According to the Medical Dictionary, cell therapy is the transplantation of human or animal cells (typically by infusing or injecting them into the patient) to replace or repair damaged tissue. The purpose of cell therapy is to introduce cells into the body that will grow and replace damaged tissue. This process could lead to the…

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Mitek Systems: Minting Money On Millennials’ Love For Selfies

Nov 27

Mitek Systems: Minting Money On Millennials’ Love For Selfies

Mitek Systems (MITK, NASDAQ), a global leader in mobile capture and identity verification software solutions, recently released findings from a survey of more than 3,000 millennials in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. on their mobile preferences, purchase habits and financial goals. “As the largest generation in the U.S., millennials get what they want,” said Kalle Marsal, CMO, Mitek. “For the first time, this survey shows how the most valuable millennial customers expect to use their mobile device camera for commerce and banking. Smart businesses should welcome this news since leveraging millennials’ selfie habit gives them an easy way to verify ID’s, authorize purchases, enroll new customers and achieve compliance in an increasingly regulated mobile world. Their most valuable customers have spoken and the answer is a win-win.” Forward-looking businesses must have mobile capture, and Mitek’s the leader! Key findings from the survey conducted by Osterman Research includes: Millennials are addicted to their smartphone cameras: 85% take selfies and many are taking more than five a day.  The number of older U.S. millennials taking 20 or more selfies a day is double that of younger millennials. More than a quarter of older millennials say the camera is the most important function on their mobile device, vs. 16% of younger millennials.               There is enormous potential demand to use selfies and the camera for commerce and identity verification… Only 4% of U.S. millennials currently use selfies to authorize purchases, but 46% would like to do so. Only 6% of millennials use selfies to verify their identity, but 39% would like to do so. 42% of the oldest millennials strongly prefer taking a picture of their driver’s license instead of filling out a form vs. 23% of the youngest. Mobile experience matters to millennials, and should matter to businesses that want them as customers… 84% of U.S. millennials consider a good mobile user experience important or essential in order to do business with them. 84% of millennials are conducting transactions from their mobile device with 15% doing so multiple times a day. Nearly half of older millennials have made a decision on where to spend money or switched companies based upon the mobile experience. When asked which...

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2017 Will Be A Great Awakening For Sleepy Kopin!

Nov 08

2017 Will Be A Great Awakening For Sleepy Kopin!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – “Kopin (KOPN, NASDAQ) has been a serially disappointing stock.” Now I’ll show you. KOPN has been stuck within a $1.50 to $5 range for more than a decade (that’s a long time). However, history is going to change for Kopin during 2017! Seemingly nothing has happened or is happening for KOPN, but when it does (and it is and will, as I’ll outline below) it’s going to happen all at once and I think the stock will fly past $5 in a matter of weeks or months. Kopin is going to become a momentum story that investors must own, assuming they want pure-play exposure to one of the fastest growing segments in technology – wearables.  Thanks to Kopin’s miniature displays (which are proven, by the way, as our finest men and women in the Air Force have been using them for years) the world will start looking up again. “Enterprise customers” look to be the early adopters, as opposed to the consumer market (which is following close behind), of smart glasses or “hands-free industrial head-mounted tablets”, if you will. After decades of research and hundreds of millions in investment, Kopin has become a one-stop-shop for the entire package – miniature displays (appearing the size of a 7-inch screen), 100% voice recognition (enabling real time video chat), and miniature batteries (with a +10 hour life). Via a subsidiary called “RealWear” (a marketing arm), which Kopin has an equity stake in, it will start scratching the surface of what could become a massive enterprise customer market in 2017. A pioneer program is underway and Kopin’s largest customers are Duke Energy, GE, Boeing and Cisco. Additionally, Google and Vuzix (VUZI, NASDAQ) are using Kopin’s displays for their enterprise applications. During last quarter’s conference call, CEO John Fan said: “There are a couple other enterprise deals we can’t announce yet.”  Clearly, the groundwork is being laid for growth in the enterprise market, and that’s a positive indicator for Kopin. Again, it’s important to understand that for nearly every hands-free head-mounted tablet sold, Kopin has IP inside (like “Intel Inside“) of it – the display, the voice recognition chip, and the battery. Softbank, the...

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Kopin Q2: Mr. Market Still Doesn’t Get It.

Aug 05

Kopin Q2: Mr. Market Still Doesn’t Get It.

On Tuesday August 2nd, Kopin (KOPN, NASDAQ) released its Q2 operating results and a business update.  The stock dropped 15% on the news. Revenues were disappointing, to say the least – just $4.4 million vs. $10.9 million in the prior year. I’m betting Q2 or Q3 (coming next) will prove to be Kopin’s worst quarters for the next decade. Why so confident?… Declining sales are almost always a bad thing, unless the company has a good excuse. For instance, one of my earlier investments in life was a company called Advanced Battery. I won’t go into all the details, but it traded down significantly because of a few bad sales numbers. However, after digging into the story a bit, it became clear Advanced Battery’s sales weren’t down because no one wanted its batteries.  Sales were down temporarily because it was relocating to a larger manufacturing facility, gearing up for an increase in demand. By reading the 10K filings I also determined Advanced Battery was on a hiring spree. The speculation worked out well. While the vast majority of analysts would never stick their neck out for a company like Kopin, I will. In my view KOPN is a steal in the low $2′s. It has roughly $1.55 per share worth of cash, and no long-term debt. Today Mr. Market thinks KOPN is a value stock, merely milking what’s left of its outdated technology products. When in fact, KOPN will become a growth story by year’s end with momentum building into 2017. Bottom line, not unlike my Advanced Battery example, Kopin’s sales are declining for a good reason – it sold legacy business units to focus on “wearable technology”, arguably the next big thing. Thus, sales have declined. Where will the growth come from?… Kopin’s “Solos” smart eyewear is on track to begin commercial shipping this October. Kopin developed Solos in coordination with the U.S. Olympic cycling team. Within 24 hours Solos reached its funding goal on KickStarter. This validated the concept and Kopin got valuable consumer feedback. Kopin’s innovative and patented Pupil™ Optics have the unique performance feature of a sunlight readable, transparent image in a tiny and energy efficient form factor, which is perfect for Mobile Augmented Reality (AR) headsets....

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The Price is Right for Kopin, but How About the Timing?

Mar 06

The Price is Right for Kopin, but How About the Timing?

As a business, i would describe Kopin Corporation (NASDAQ: KOPN) as intriguing, with a pinch of exciting. As a stock, i would describe it as serially disappointing. When looking at the potential– many would say WOW! Kopin’s addressable market is yuuuuge!! Cowen & Co. estimates global sales for wearables will hit $170 billion by 2020. When looking at the stocks performance– many would say WOW! But for all the wrong reasons… KOPN has been an absolute dud for more than a decade!! Any reason to believe this serially disappointing stock will bear fruit soon? Arguably, Kopin is downright cheap. In fact, cheap enough that hard core value investors may begin to take notice (that alone could be worth 10-20% appreciation from here). As of the close Friday March 4, 2016 Kopin is valued at $108 million– with approximately $95M cash and no debt. Hmm… I guess one doesn’t have to “pay up” for somewhat sexy technology stocks that are pure plays on burgeoning trends after all. KOPN looks to be a bargain based off the balance sheet, and Mr.Market assigns little to no value to its +300 patents and patent pending portfolio (95% of which are geared toward wearable technologies). Plus, after backing out the cash, it sells for less than 1-times sales, 22% are from a customer called Google (up from 11% in 2014) by the way. …so how about near-term catalysts? Well, Kopin is fresh off a “very successful” Consumer Electric Show (CES) in January, having 15 companies displaying products with its components (last year was less than five). A Tier One company (unnamed, but “makes lots of watches” Eg. Garmin?) launched a health and fitness product utilizing Kopin components at the event. Additionally, Kopin expects to begin selling its “Solos” smart-glasses in the summer, perhaps a must have item for the cycling enthusiast, expected retail price between $400 – $500. Solos were a featured item at an IBM analytics conference recently– discussing data collection via wearables. I’m told Kopin isn’t going to spend much on marketing the Solos. Kopin will be happy if the product sells, but its design is geared toward showing what’s possible when combining Kopin’s battery, display and Whisper chip technology. Three additional...

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Mitek Systems — Fintech Sleeping Giant with 60 Million Customers, Still a Microcap?

Jan 31

Mitek Systems — Fintech Sleeping Giant with 60 Million Customers, Still a Microcap?

Trying to restrain my enthusiasm with Mitek Systems (NASDAQ: MITK)! Why so uppity on MITK? Because i’m not late to the party. Shares are still smack in the middle of a 3-year consolidation, a beautiful tight band has developed between $2 and $6. Quickly>> i discovered this gem while researching a lesser quality penny stock called Cachet Financial Solutions (OTCBB: CAFN). While reading its 10K it became clear Cachet is licensing software/technology to provide its “solutions” from someone else. …and that someone is the market leader, Mitek Systems. It handles more mobile transactions than anyone in the world. Roughly 1 of 5 Americans, and virtually all millennials  are using Mitek’s “MiSnap” technology without knowing it. The buzzword is Remote Deposit Capture— The Federal Reserve and others have called it: “the most important development the U.S. banking industry has seen in years.” With a user base of 60 million, estimated to be 80 million by 2017, you or someone you know is likely using RDC, the super-simple process of taking a picture of a check with your smartphone and depositing into your account… no need to go to the bank… voila! As you can imagine, banks love this technology, and they’re spending Big Money marketing it. Bank of America, one of Mitek’s 4,800 financial institution customers (4,400 are live), said it has closed 900 banks because increased use of mobile banking. Banks lower their transaction costs and customers save time, so its a classic win-win! Mitek’s revenue from mobile deposit is driven by two factors: 1) size of customer base -Top 10 largest retail banks using it now; Mitek gets a licensing fee upfront 2) adoption and transactions -Mitek sells “blocks” of transactions (per million); collect a few cents (or more?) per click/photo snap Arguably, the #1 risk for Mitek would be a structural decline in check usage, according to The Fed it has been declining at 9% annually. On the flip side, as of 2013, there were still approximately 18.3 billion checks written, so don’t expect the check to disappear as a payment method within this decade. Bank of America’s data for 2014 showed Americans (retail customers) were depositing 170,000 checks per day, and mobile deposits grew by 30%....

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