In 2005, Vancouver’s Absolute Software (TSX:ABT) teamed up with Lojack (NASDAQ:LOJN) to introduce Lojack for Laptops. The product, which worked by periodically dialing Absolute servers and could not be disabled even by wiping the hard drive, was a new level of security for laptops which were, increasingly, becoming a target for thieves.
In 2001, laptop computers were twenty-first among stolen items. By 2010, laptops were the second most stolen object in household burglaries with one being taken in every four break-ins.
The success of Lojack for Laptops was a boon to Absolute Software. The company’s revenue climbed from under $37 million in 2007 to more than $66 million in 2011. Along the way, Absolute made OEM deals with Acer, Dell, Fujitsu, Samsung, Toshiba, Intel and HP. Today, about 85% of the money the company makes is through these deals.
The consumer market appears to be showing no signs of slowing down. At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Absolute CEO John Livingston noted that, according to the US security research firm Ponemon Institute, a laptop is stolen at a U.S. airport every 50 seconds. “That statistic means that more than 6,900 laptops will be stolen from airports in the United States during the four days of CES 2012,” he said.
This story is brought to you by Intertainment Media (TSXV:INT). Intertainment’s recently launched mobile platform, Ortsbo 2 Go, (O2Go), for the iPhone platform reached the position of the 3rd in the free Social Networking category just behind Facebook in the US Apple iTunes store. Click here for more information.
In November, Absolute released its Q1 2012 numbers for the three-month period ended Sept. 30, 2011. The topline growth continued, with revenue up nearly $2 million over the same period a year prior, to $18.2 million. Those taking a closer look at the company’s books will notice Absolute is beginning to make serious inroads to the enterprise market; the company said it had increased commercial sales contracts by 36 per cent compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Clients for Computrace, Absolute’s commercial offering, include Grant Thornton, De Beers and Match.com. Livingston says the company is now seeing double-digit growth in all of our major commercial product lines.
Recent data suggest the enterprise market could become a reliable source of growth for Absolute. A study by research firm Canalys says enterprise security spending is expected to grow 8.7 percent in 2012, to reach a market value of $22.9 billion worldwide.
Shares of Absolute Software closed Friday down 3.9% to $4.19.