Mitek Has Tough Month

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It’s sure been a tough couple months for Mitek shareholders. In April, Mitek customer USAA filed suit against the San Diego-based recognition technology specialist and called its mobile patent portfolio into question. That action basically cut Mitek’s market cap in half from more than $300 million to over a $150 million. Mitek then followed up last week by announcing fiscal second quarter revenue results that were almost 60% lower than its Q2 2011 results. Today, Mitek’s market cap was floating around $64 million.

For the three months ended March 31, San Diego-based Mitek reported revenue of $1.2 million, which created a $2.2 or $2.8 million loss, depending if you’re using non-GAAP or GAAP reporting metrics, respectively. On a conference call for investors, Mitek CEO Jim DeBello reflected on the “lumpy nature” of Mitek’s business model. In other words, Mitek sells to a channel that deploys it check capture technology and then markets their solutions to banks.

If you haven’t been following along, Mitek is a pioneer in the market for capturing checks and data with smartphones. Mitek reportedly has 100 banks using its technology, including the eight largest banks in the U.S. In all, Mitek boasts agreements with 315 financial institutions to deploy its mobile check capture technology, which are in varying stages of implementation. Mitek’s contracts typically net it around 10 cents per transaction.

Mitek also has some patents around document imaging and is planning to roll out a mobile bill paying application later this year. Mobile bill paying currently in pilot stage at a couple sites and apparently involves taking a picture of a bill and then being able to pay it with your phone. Mitek has also set up a mobile insurance quote app that it has licensed to Progressive. (Check out the Flo commercial.)

DeBello pretty much said that it has been business as usual for Mitek, the company had built up a great infrastructure of customers, and that the market Mitek is focusing on is pretty unpredictable because of its nascent nature – but also a market full of opportunity. DeBello also said the USAA lawsuit has not had a negative effect on sales but has certainly consumed some management resources.

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