Viisage Tops Its First Quarter Guidance for Revenues

Biometrics company Viisage, which is scheduled to merge with Identix (a process that should close in June or July), announced its first quarter results on May 15. The results were reported for the quarter that ended on March 31. In the quarter, the company acquired Securimetrics, giving Viisage a handhold in the iris recognition marketplace. Notably the company saw revenues that were higher than its estimates of $20 to $22 million, with actual revnues sitting right at $23.4 million.

The company issued the following press release about its first quarter profits, sharing more definitive details:

Revenue for first quarter of 2006 was $23.4 million compared to $16.8 million in the first quarter of 2005, and was above the high-end of the Company’s previously provided guidance of $20.0 million to $22.0 million.

Revenue from Integrated Biometrics Technology (IBT) and SecuriMetrics that were acquired December 16, 2005 and February 17, 2006, respectively, are reflected from their dates of acquisition.  The Company reported a first quarter net loss of $2.2 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $1.6 million, or $0.09 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2005. The Company had previously guided to a loss between $0.10 and $0.14 per diluted share. The Company is reporting a non-cash charge of $626,000 for stock-based compensation in connection with the adoption of FAS 123(R) in the 2006 first quarter.

Gross margin in the first quarter was 27 percent, compared to 32 percent in the first quarter of 2005, reflecting the IBT and SecuriMetrics acquisitions. The Company expects gross margin to improve to a target in excess of 35 percent for the second half of 2006. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and non-cash stock compensation expense, or Adjusted EBITDA, was $2.5 million in the first quarter, up from $1.6 million in the prior year period. Total cash at March 31, 2006 was $46.4 million, including $3.7 million generated from operations during the quarter.

Bernard Bailey, president and CEO of Viisage, commented, “With first quarter revenue above the top-end of our prior guidance, we are demonstrating a commitment to the growth of the business. Furthermore, our determination to manage our costs allowed us to report a better-than-expected bottom line, further strengthening the business ahead of the closing of the merger with Identix.”

Earlier in the quarter, Viisage also completed its acquisition of privately held SecuriMetrics, Inc. The strategic acquisition enhanced Viisage’s product line, adding iris recognition, another critical modality to the Company’s biometric capabilities.

Commenting on the pending merger and acquisition activity, Robert V.LaPenta, chairman of the board of Viisage, said, "Our planned merger with Identix is moving forward and we are eagerly anticipating the close to occur in late June or early in the third quarter.  I am encouraged by our integration efforts thus far and applaud both the Viisage and Identix management teams for their accomplishments to date in this important effort."

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