Alien Technology has filed to go public, hoping to ride the wave of excitement sweeping its line of business — the little radio frequency chips that supposed to inserted into millions of products at places like mega-store Wal-Mart, making them easier to track and so on.
But our colleague Mike Langberg is skeptical of the company’s plans, in his column today. Alien is based in Morgan Hill, just south of Silicon Valley.
Alien’s IPO filing, which seeks to raise as much as $138 million, reads somewhat like “Close Encounters of the Financially Scary Kind.” Among the warning signs flashing like red lights on the console of an off-course UFO:
â€¢ Alien has never shown a profit, and losses exceed sales. The company posted a net loss of $53 million for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30 on sales of $19.8 million. Losses continued at $10.4 million on sales of $5.1 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31.
â€¢ Its newest FSA process, which is essential for the company to become profitable, won’t be ready until late this year “and may take longer.”