buy metformin online

Identive Reports Growing NFC Business; Blames Flat Sales, Losses, on U.S. Budget Cuts

U.S.-based Identive Group reported growing NFC and smart card reader business, but fell back into the red during for the first quarter, a loss it largely blamed on U.S. federal government budget cuts.

Identive, which released its first quarter 2013 financial results Thursday, reported revenue of $21.1 million, flat from the same period a year ago, and a net loss of $4.8 million. The company in early March had projected sales of $22 million to $24 million for the first quarter. 

CEO Ayman Ashour noted that the net loss was an improvement from a year ago, in which the company lost $6.2 million. The first quarter is generally the weakest for the company, the vendor added.

Thursday’s earnings report followed Identive’s first quarterly profit since at least 2008, with the vendor reporting a small gain of $177,000 for the fourth quarter of 2012. But that had included a $1.4 million income tax benefit for impairment charges earlier in the year.

Restructuring and cost-cutting measures initiated in June 2012 continued to help the company reduce operating expenses, said Ashour during a conference call with financial analysts. “We are turning the corner in our business,” he said, despite first quarter losses.

Identive’s shares traded down by just over 3% to $.95 per share on the Nasdaq stock exchange Thursday, following release of the results.

NFC Orders
Identive entered the second quarter of 2013 with an order backlog totaling $22 million, of which $19 million is scheduled for billing within the coming twelve months, said the company. “This is the highest order book we've ever had as Identive, and it comes from a far wider base of growth markets,” said Ashour. Of that backlog, he identified $5 million to $8 million as related to NFC.

Late last month, Identive announced that it had received orders for 4 million NFC tags. Three million NFC Forum Type 2 tags would go for use for a mobile-retail application in France, about which Identive declined to release details. Identive also said 800,000 of those tags would ship later in the second quarter. One million of Identive’s “Tag-on-Metal” stickers would go to the payment and banking rollout in Africa; all of these tags are scheduled to ship during the second quarter, said the company.

In remarks accompanying the release, Ashour said that the company’s “NFC business continues a strong growth trend.” Overall transponder sales, including but not limited to NFC, were up 17% year over year.

He cited machine-to-machine applications, especially electronic gaming, as a driver of that growth. Video games, such as Activision’s popular Skylanders series and its newer competitors Disney Infinity and Pokémon Rumble U, use NFC to incorporate real-world toys into the game. When players place the toys on an NFC reader build into a platform or portal, game software reads the chip and brings a digital version of the figure onto the video screen.

So far, Identive has declined to comment on whether it is supplying tags for any of these three titles.

A spokeswoman told NFC Times, “the use of NFC in electronic-game pieces is allowing far more people to actually have an experience using NFC. Although it is in more phones, there still aren't a lot of applications that the average consumer knows about or has a chance to use.”

Ashour also mentioned the company’s Tag-On-Metal stickers and other payment applications for NFC, as well as transit-ticketing and retail display applications, as important drivers of Identive’s business.

Rollouts on NFC Marketing Platform
The company announced that its tag campaign management platform, Tagtrail, saw its first commercial rollouts during the first quarter of 2013, but declined to release the names of the customers.

“We are not at liberty when it comes to naming customers, but you may have already tapped your phone into March Madness posters in American stores or various loyalty programs and posters in German movie theaters,” Ashour said during the conference call, referring on the first project to the annual college basketball tournament in the U.S.

An Identive spokeswoman later told NFC Times that their customer in the U.S. “ran a big campaign in March and currently has promo cards in their stores for a different campaign.”

“Our European MNO (mobile network operator) customer has put up NFC posters in German movie theaters as an extension to a popular free movie ticket loyalty program that they already were running–Tagtrail allows them make it mobile. The MNO is also mailing NFC cards to select customers to introduce them to a new e-wallet program the MNO is launching,” she told NFC Times. The unnamed mobile network operator reports that about 85% of customers who received the cards have tapped to download marketing information about the wallet.

Impact of Sequestration
During Thursday’s conference call, Ashour noted a 24% decline in the company’s access-control business, mostly due to project delays, which he blamed on sequestration or budget cuts by the U.S. government. Access control is one of the higher margin areas of Identive’s business.

“It was evidently not good to have our access control, being the most profitable area, down, but it was good to see that the impact was limited by improvements elsewhere,” Ashour said.

Ashour, however, described the sequestration’s impact as significant, since “broad budget cuts disrupted virtually all project activity,” and he said that the access-control portion of the company’s business continues to face uncertainty. “We don't see any project cancellations or contract losses; what we only see is disruptions and delays.”

Total business from the U.S. government, which is Identive’s largest customer, was $3.8 million during the first quarter of 2013. Ashour described this figure as “well below” the previous quarter and the preceding year.

Year Ahead
Identive is currently operating at close to 100% production capacity and “will continue to do so for the foreseeable future,” according to the company, and is seeking to increase capacity, Ashour said.

Identive expects revenue of $22 million to $26 million for the second quarter of 2013 and $105 million to $110 million for the full year. Identive had sales of $94.6 million in 2012.

HEADLINE NEWS

TI’s NFC Sensor Transponder Latest Product to Target Wearables, IoT Markets

U.S-based Texas Instruments said it expects to see prototype launches of devices using its recently launched NFC sensor transponder in the first quarter of 2015, as the U.S.-based chip maker seeks a larger stake in the promising markets for wearables, Internet of Things and industrial applications that sometimes require an NFC interface.

NFC SIMs in Short Supply for Chunghwa Telecom's NFC Rollout

NFC Times Exclusive – TAIPEI, Taiwan – Gemalto announced this week that it is providing NFC SIM cards for Chunghwa Telecom’s commercial launch of NFC services, but availability of the SIMs to the telco’s subscribers are extremely limited and none of the telco’s shops or service centers currently have the cards, NFC Times has learned.

People on the Move: Awad Returns to Broadcom’s NFC Program as Chip Maker’s NFC Business Lags Behind Chief Rivals

Dec 4 2014

NFC Times Exclusive – Mohamed Awad, who formerly headed Broadcom’s NFC business, has returned to oversee the program, among other duties, as Broadcom looks to reinvigorate a progra

NFC Telco Pioneer Turkcell Pulls Back on Support for Technology

NFC Times Exclusive – Turkey’s largest mobile operator, Turkcell, one of the first telcos globally to launch NFC service commercially, has pulled back from the technology, having seen too little take-up for NFC retail payments, NFC Times has learned.

Gemalto Seeks to Reposition TSM Offer as ‘Hub,’ as It Tries to Counter Threats to Its NFC Business; but is It Really a Hub?

Dec 1 2014

NFC Times Exclusive – With the role of the TSM coming under increasing pressure for being too complex and costly, Gemalto, the world’s largest TSM, is seeking to reposition its TSM offer–promoting it as being part of a large “trusted services hub,” as the France-based vendor tries to convince more banks to provision their credit and debit cards on NFC SIMs.

NXP Seeks to Open Up Access to Embedded Chips in Android Phones

Nov 20 2014

With interest growing again in embedded secure elements in NFC phones to store applications, thanks to Apple Pay, NXP Semiconductors is trying to drive demand for its embedded chips in Android phones by making it easier for service providers to load their applications on the silicon.

Orange NFC Chief: We Want to Talk to Apple about Putting Orange Cash on iPhone

NFC Times Exclusive: The head of mobile payments for France-based mobile operator Orange Group said he wants to talk to Apple about enabling the telco’s co-branded payment application, Orange Cash, on the Apple Pay platform. 

Visa, MasterCard: Secure In-App Payments with Apple Pay a ‘Game Changer,’ but Card-Not-Present Rates Remain

NFC Times Exclusive: While the thought of more consumers tapping their phones to pay in stores is attracting the most attention with the launch of Apple Pay, it’s the prospect of users paying for purchases in mobile apps with Apple Pay that could be the real breakthrough, say representatives of Visa and MasterCard Worldwide. 

OTI Reduces Growth Estimate and Pushes Back Positive EBITDA Prediction

Israeli-based NFC and contactless company On Track Innovations pushed back its prediction for positive adjusted EBITDA back to the third quarter of 2015 and reduced its estimate for 2014 revenue growth to 10%, down from the 30% it had predicted previously, the company reported in its quarterly earnings call.

DeviceFidelity Acquired by mPOS and Reader Component Supplier Kili

Canada-based Kili Technology, which supplies hardware modules, firmware and IP for mobile point of sale, readers and other payment-acceptance devices, has acquired NFC-accessories vendor DeviceFidelity.

Subway Eschews Exclusivity, Supports Multiple Mobile Wallets

NFC Times Exclusive: LAS VEGAS, Nev. – While a number of major U.S. merchants have pledged to only accept one mobile-payments service, that is not the case for giant Subway sandwich chain, which has now introduced at least three major options for its customers to pay with their smartphones.

AmEx and Discover Weigh In On HCE, Tokenization and Acceptance

Las Vegas, Nev. – No single mobile payments provider or platform will dominate the market in the long run, so card networks should adopt a flexible approach, CEOs of two major payment networks, American Express and Discover Financial Services, told attendees at this week’s Money 2020 conference.