If the terrorists lose, ICx Technologies may go out of business, which means the terrorists win. There is no jihad against paradoxes.
ICx is planning a $184 million IPO, according to an S-1 filed yesterday. The homeland security company develops sensing technologies for government agencies and corporations like FedEx and Disney.
How candid can a homeland security company be in an SEC filing? From the looks of it, not very. In the “Growth Strategy” section of the S-1, nowhere does ICx list, “maintaining a constant state of fear” or “the increased rate of things blowing up.” ICx also refuses to acknowledge the risk to ongoing operations that “things may stop blowing up.”
Instead, the closest ICx gets to admitting that it relies on a thoroughly terrorized populace is here:
Our ability to grow will depend in part on the rate at which markets for our products develop and on our ability to adapt to emerging demands in these markets. In particular, our business depends on our ability to offer a broader range of products and services to meet demand for integrated solutions. In addition, geopolitical developments, terrorist attacks and government mandates may cause sharp fluctuations in the demand for our products.
Translation – if you’re long on big explosions, you’re long on ICx. No one is denying the need for basic security (and increased security in certain obvious places, like U.S. ports), but the real question is whether we want a thriving homeland security market in the corporate and private sector, one in which every Disney store needs bomb detection. Do we want ICx to succeed in the first place? Are we long on terror, and will there ever be a time in which an unexpected surge in the share prices of homeland security companies suggest imminent attacks (terrorist insider trading)?
Lehman is lead underwriter on the IPO with Goldman, JPMorgan, Morgan Keegan and Needham & Co. acting as not-quite-so-lead underwriters. The company is planning to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker ICXT.
ICx Technologies Plans IPO [Forbes]
ICx S-1 [SEC]