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One of these days, CEO Frank Mandelbaum hopes Intelli-Check (IDN
) (IDN), the company he founded, will become a generic term for systems to detect falsified IDs. The company makes ID readers to authenticate the validity of a driver's license or other ID. Intelli-Check also licenses its software to retailers seeking to cut losses from fake IDs. Mandelbaum says the government is Intelli-Check's biggest customer because of security concerns. The Defense Dept. has ordered Intelli-Check's ID-Check technology so it can be embedded in handheld computers used by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency. "The order validates the technology for document verification as spelled out by Homeland Security," says John Bendall, president of Hermitage Capital, which owns shares. He puts the market for the handhelds for first-responders--such as police and security guards--at $300 million. With giant retailers Target (TGT
) and Toys ‘R' Us and car-rental outfits using ID-Check, "it's likely Wal-Mart (WMT
) and FedEx (FDX
) will start, too," says Bendall, who sees the stock, now at 6.26, at 12 in a year. David Sterman of Jesup & Lamont rates Intelli-Check neutral but says it's on track to generate strong sales growth and impressive gross margins in the next four to six quarters.Note: Unless otherwise noted, neither the sources cited in Inside Wall Street nor their firms hold positions in the stocks under discussion. Similarly, they have no investment banking or other financial relationships with them. By Gene G. Marcial