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Giving Intelli-Check the Once-Over

Intelli-Check (IDN) has yet to make a penny, and revenues in 2002 were a meager $1.2 million, yet some investors are upbeat on this maker of patented document-verification gear. The reason: Intelli-Check has signed a contract -- soon to be announced -- with a group representing 11,000 credit unions, for use of its ID-Check. And a quasi-government agency that processes passports and packages is expected to sign a contract, says one insider. ID-Check decodes information on driver's licenses and government ID cards and verifies their authenticity. The service is starting to be used at airports (to verify employee IDs), security agencies, motor vehicle offices, and casinos, says CEO Frank Mandelbaum. One investor is Empire State Development, which took a 6.8% stake through its Small Business Technology Investment Fund. Its manager says: "We saw the potential of ID-Check -- and bought more shares." Bart Blount of Sawtooth Capital Management, with a 6.3% stake, sees ID-Check as a key system. The driver's license is the basic ID card, he says, so verifying its authenticity is the first step against fakery or terrorism. William Block of WAB Capital, which also owns shares, says Intelli-Check will be profitable in the fourth quarter of 2003. The stock trades at 7.60, down from 11 a year ago. The stock could double in two years, he says.

Unless otherwise noted, neither the sources cited in Inside Wall Street nor their firms hold positions in the stocks under discussion. Similarly, they have no investment banking or other financial relationships with them. By Gene G. Marcial

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