The markets continue to perform giving credit to the euro zone finance ministers for securing a deal that will enable Greece to avoid a March default. However, the reality is we're in a technical runaway in the major indexes right now with no significant resistance in near site. We did mention last week we find it interesting that the DOW and the S&P have replaced the NASDAQ as the leaders of the rally which could prove to be of importance in the coming weeks ahead but for now let's continue to keep the risk on and not make too much of it.
It could be the fact that some of the NASDAQ 100 stocks like Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) have moved too high too quickly or it could be a rotation into more cyclical names and conservative ideas. The latter would suggest the big money is getting a little nervous at current levels and sees some weakness ahead so we'll continue to monitor things closely and let ya'll know if that starts to become a real issue.
If gold finds legs, I would assume the rest of the market will likely diverge and vice versa so we're keeping an eye on gold as well. If you missed our edition, "Is Gold Finally Topping Out?" back on February 10th, I suggest you have a read. You'll see just what we're referring to as gold appears to be at a critical trading level.
We've got some important news for you guys today from a few of our Featured Stocks. At first glance, they may not appear to be significant but if you can read between the lines, there's definitely some excitement brewing there that may be telltale signs of very good things to come.
Positive ID Looking for a Piece of $3 Billion RFP from Homeland Security
Many Americans probably don't spend quite as much time anymore thinking about the threat of terrorism here in our Homeland probably because Homeland Security is doing a pretty darn good job ever since 9-11. Sure, we get frustrated at the airports but most of our Homeland Security efforts are going unnoticed these days and if you ask me, that's a good thing. Don't be mistaken though, there are new systems being developed, technologies implemented and they are doing everything in their power to ensure we have a safe place to live and run free here at home.
Case in point, did you know that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a $3B RFP for contractors around the Country for what they refer to as "BioWatch GEN 3 Phase II"? In a nutshell, the Government is looking to retain contractors to provide autonomous biodetection systems for the Department of Homeland Security Office of Health Affairs' BioWatch Gen-3 Program. The Gen-3 detection system will be a fully autonomous network of biodetectors that will continuously monitor the air for biothreat agents of public health concern in designated locations throughout the United States. If you'd like to learn more about this new program, here's a link explaining the details and background of BioWatch GEN 3 Phase II.
The purpose of this program is to obtain a fully autonomous networked biodetection capability (known as Generation 3 or Gen-3) that will be deployed, operated, and sustained, both indoor and outdoor, in selected US BioWatch jurisdictions throughout the United States to continuously monitor the air for agents of biological concern.
Now if you remember, one of our Featured Stocks, PositiveID (PSID) has a division of their Company dedicated to identifying biothreats. PositiveID's MicroFluidic Systems division, which operates as its MicroFluidic Systems ("MFS") subsidiary, develops sample preparation and biological detection systems. MFS has a successful history in their space as MFS began developing complex microfluidic systems to perform sample processing and purification for the Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA). It then developed a similar system, including a thermal cycler for PCR analysis for the US Army's Edgewood Chemical and Biological Command (ECBC).
MFS has since developed next generation technologies that appear to be exactly what DHS could be looking for with their latest innovation, M-BAND: Microfluidics-based Bioagent Autonomous Networked Detector. And, it's not just some pipe dream because on the open this morning PSID announced what I believe could be a very large game changer for PSID investors. The Company announced their MFS Division will present its M-BAND (Microfluidics-based Bioagent Autonomous Networked Detector) system at the 10th Annual American Society for Microbiology ("ASM") Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting, to be held February 26-29, 2012, in Washington, DC at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. PositiveID will jointly exhibit M-BAND with The Boeing Company and Hamilton Sundstrand.
According to the ASM, approximately 1,000 leaders and decision makers in the field of biodefense will participate in the Biodefense and Emerging Diseases conference to discuss the critical research necessary to defend against the growing threat of bioterrorism and shape the future of the biodefense research agenda.
What makes this announcement even more compelling is look at who their presenting with? Boeing and Hamilton Sundstrand, both 100 LB. guerillas in the defense space. Now why would they want to team up with MFS if MFS doesn't have what DHS is going to want? Also, it appears MFS is being very strategic here because I would imagine they stand to garner a lot more respect and recognition at the conference by teaming up with those two giants. Additionally, political issues and barriers (which usually there are when Government is involved) may be mitigated by the involvement of Boeing and Hamilton Sundstrand as well.
This all just seems to fit for me. With today's announcement, it wouldn't surprise me to see MFS inevitably carve out a nice chunk of that $3B DHS spending plan I referred to above. Time will tell but if this all goes down the way it looks to me, I seriously doubt that shares of PSID are still going to be at $.12 cents. Really.
CommerceTel Continues to WOW with the Addition of Household Names
I love when stories start to unfold. CommerceTel (MFON) has quietly been going about their business of late yet to report fourth quarter 2011 numbers but if you take a hard look at their recent announcements, you'll probably start to come to the same conclusion I have...
Let me get you caught up. On December 15th, MFON announced that Chanticleer Holdings, owner and operator of Hooters restaurants internationally, has selected CommerceTel as its exclusive partner to facilitate mobile marketing and digital display campaigns such as voting, text alerts, and special offers, to all of its international Hooters locations. Initial roll-out will commence with three locations in South Africa.
On January 12th, they announced a major quick-service restaurant franchise has deployed CommerceTel's mobile marketing technology to more than 1,600 locations nationwide which we believe to be Sonic.
On January 17th, the Company announced that a major multinational oil and gas corporation plans to roll out mobile marketing services across 10,000 retail food and gas locations in the U.S. The first deployment is expected to begin in February 2012 with a distributor operating more than 700 locations.
On February 7th, they announced that the Houston Texans which is one of the most successful sports franchises in recent history has increased their mobile subscriber base by more than 200% using CommerceTel's patented mobile marketing technology.
On February 14th, MFON announced that its mobile marketing technology is being used by local advertisers in more than 3,000 locations nationwide and if I'm not mistaken, their lowest software as a service price point sits at roughly $50 per month so one can assume their recurring revenues should be excellent since they have roughly a 90% customer retention rate.
And today, the Company announced yet another major addition to their client laundry list of household name with the Ultimate Fighting Championship® organization selecting CommerceTel to facilitate mobile marketing tactics such as voting, text alerts, and special offers for in-venue and in-broadcast initiatives.
I think by now you get my point. When I review their recent PR history, it becomes very evident to me that the Company has one of the best mobile marketing software platforms (if not the best) in the industry. Why would such large household names like this be gravitating to MFON for their mobile marketing services if MFON wasn't best of breed? They could go anywhere but they continue to choose MFON and if you have been around the Internet for as long as I have, you'll know there are very few better business models than software as a service.
Basically, software as a service in its simplest form is a Company providing software for a monthly recurring fee. This revenue model has been hugely successful in many areas of the Internet ever since inception and mobile marketing is projected to blow away everything that traditional internet advertising has accomplished. Mobile marketing projections are in the billions and MFON sits right in the middle of this rapidly growing phenomenon.
When we first started covering MFON, very few people knew about it. If you look at the daily chart I've included here, you'll see the volume interest has been picking up of late which suggests MFON is starting to finally garner the attention it deserves. It will be very interesting to see what their earnings look like but if their recent PR is any indication of good things to come, it will likely come as no surprise to me.
Have a great rest of the day... we'll see you tomorrow.