Thermal cameras for fever screening stocks could see a huge surge like the kind we saw on May 6, 2020, in Remark Holdings (MARK).
On April 20, 2020, shares of FLIR Systems (FLIR) and some of its peers rose following a report by Reuters saying that Amazon (AMZN) has begun to use thermal cameras at its warehouses to accelerate screening for employees who may have contracted coronavirus.
William Blair analyst Louie DiPalma noted that Reuters reported that Amazon (AMZN) has begun to deploy thermal cameras at its warehouses and Whole Foods stores to screen workers for elevated temperatures. Though the Reuters article suggests that Amazon may be using a thermal camera vendor other than Flir Systems (FLIR) for some warehouses, DiPalma called Flir “the global leader in thermal uncooled cameras” and he expects the company to benefit from “what may become a major trend.” Competitors in the space include Fortive’s (FTV) Fluke, Thermoteknix, and Infrared Cameras, which is referenced in the Reuters story, added DiPalma. DiPalma now believe that temperature screening sales may be a material contributor to FLIR’s $1.8B in annual sales and contends that COVID-19 will have a net neutral impact on revenue as cyclical sales in its Industrials Business Unit will be negatively correlated with fever screener sales. He keeps an Outperform rating on Flir Systems shares.
Then on May 6, 2020, Flir Systems reports Q1 adj. EPS 42c, consensus 42c. The company reports Q1 revenue of $450.92M, consensus $438.43M. Commenting on FLIR’s first quarter results, Jim Cannon, president and CEO, said, “As the COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges around the globe, we are extremely proud that FLIR products and technology are playing a critical role in helping combat the spread of this virus. As a result, we continue to experience increased demand for our thermal cameras for use in Elevated Skin Temperature-or EST-screening. Although these thermal cameras cannot detect or diagnose any type of medical condition, the cameras do serve as an effective tool to identify elevated skin temperatures through accurate, non-contact temperature monitoring. I’d like to extend my gratitude to our employees for their commitment, as we work to ensure that governments, first responders, and businesses across the globe all have appropriate EST resources during this challenging time. In this environment, the health and safety of our employees is our top priority. We have enacted stringent protocols to help ensure their safety, including restricting visitors to our facilities, requiring temperature screening upon arrival, implementing staggered work schedules to reduce the number of employees working at a given time, and regular deep cleanings at all of our facilities.”
Then on April 30, 2020, Remark Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARK) announced that it began shipping and deploying products from its family of AI thermal solutions, including Thermal Kits, Thermal Pads, and Thermal Helmets, in the United States and Japan.
“We are proud that customers such as casinos, entertainment venues, government agencies, hospitality organizations, industrial operations, law enforcement, and retail establishments have placed their trust in our AI-based thermal products to function as part of the solution for reopening the U.S. economy,” stated Kai-Shing Tao, CEO of Remark Holdings. “Our solutions provide touch-free access control and monitoring, as well as accurate temperature measurement and the ability to scan as many as 120 people per minute, a rate that is approximately 10 times faster than manual checks. Our solutions also filter out non-human heat sources and provide security personnel with real-time alerts with photo identification.”
The COVID-19 pandemic brought awareness to the United States of the importance of using thermal-detection technology as a first-level screening tool to prevent the spread of contagious diseases in locations and situations where people gather in large groups. In addition, employees are demanding that employers provide a safe work environment, beginning with temperature checks that help to promote a healthy environment.
Traditional thermal imagers and temperature devices require a human operator to scan each patron as they walk through a security point. The close proximity creates an uncomfortable intrusive experience for customers and employees in addition to causing delays at point of entry.
“We designed our family of thermal detection products to meet the specific needs of our customers,” added Mr. Tao. “While thermal-imaging camera technology has been available for years, we have created what we believe are industry-leading solutions by integrating our award-winning AI software with very high-grade thermal-imaging cameras. Additionally, our AI-based temperature scanning solutions have operated successfully in Asia for nearly a year.”