The novel coronavirus has left markets reeling and uncertain, with jobless claims in the tens of millions in the U.S. and a second wave of infections on its way. Given all this turmoil, investors may be reasonably shy about a hot new initial public offering (IPO). But the ”multi-dimensional” Remark Holdings (NASDAQ:MARK) stock may be well worth considering precisely because the pandemic has caused such disruption.
Remark offers products that will help in the crisis and the company owns a stake in Sharecare, the medical startup co-founded by celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz and backed by Oprah Winfrey and Sony (NYSE:SNE).
Zacks has given Remark, based in Las Vegas, a “strong-buy” recommendation. Remark’s stock is set to open lower, giving smaller investors the opportunity to benefit from an IPO, which could be announced in the next few months, according to John Gilliam at Seeking Alpha.
There are some reasons for caution, but in all, MARK looks like a very strong opportunity given the incredibly useful technology it produces.
MARK Stock: Remark Scanning and Imaging Products for Companies
Remark’s innovative products include thermal imaging and scanning solutions that are already in use in Nevada. This artificial intelligence-driven tech can “scan high traffic areas to detect individuals with higher than acceptable skin temperature,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Remark claims its products can be used with minimal training and scans for thermal irregularities in crowds faster than competing products by finding the “most accurate part on the face to take the temperature.” The feature enables one employee to quickly check a large number of customers or workers.
Moreover, the scanning device can detect compliance with PPE and social distancing rules and check clearances for certain work areas, possibly eliminating some individual security measures and reducing person-to-person contact.
These devices have already seen “very strong demand,” according to Remark CEO Kai-Shing Tao, who reports that the firm is “closing on average one or two a week” with companies anticipating full reopening in the coming weeks and months.
Remark Products for Retail
In addition to its highly in-demand and much-needed solutions for the coronavirus, Remark has made a deal with China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) to provide all of its 17,800 stores with AI technology enabling “facial-ID, traffic counting, and smart queue management.”
This data will allow the company to streamline and optimize traffic flow in its stores by giving customers information about the nearest stores and number of customers in each one, and it allows them to get in line for a customer service agent before they arrive, via an online ticketing system.
Such technology can significantly improve customer service, making for happier customers and a more successful brand. Additionally, by reducing foot traffic, these solutions can slow the spread of coronavirus and help companies operate smoothly with reduced physical capacity in stores.
Some Reservations, But Remark Is Worth a Look
Remark’s health technology is entering a crowded field, with several companies producing similar products. While the company seems to have an advantage, having already put its devices successfully to use in its home market, some investors may wish to wait and see how Remark’s solutions perform against competitors.
Additionally, InvestorPlace notes, the company’s CEO “appears to have no prior executive experience at a major technology company.” Tao’s previous positions were as chairman and CEO of Pacific Star Capital Management, founded in 2003, and as a partner at FALA Capital Group, a “single-family investment office.” The Remark website lists no other company executives.
Serving on the Remark board, however, are some high-profile names, including Theodore Botts, former executive at UBS (NYSE:UBS) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Dr. Elizabeth Xu, former CTO of BMO Software. Remark’s celebrity endorsements and timely products may well give investors confidence, and overall, it seems like Remark Holdings stock may be a risk worth taking.
As of this writing, Jody Bennett did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.