May 23, 2011
Osama bin Laden has left the building. Here at the Fool, we're continuing to explore the implications for investors, and explain them to you. This week: airport security.
Over in Washington, legislators have been quick to claim a "peace dividend" from the demise of the world's least-loved terrorist. On Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee's Homeland Security Subcommittee cut $76 million from the Transportation Security Administration's budget. The Obama Administration had requested the funds to purchase 275 full-body scanners from L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL ) and OSI Systems (Nasdaq: OSIS ) . Congress retorted that the machines work too slowly, annoy privacy activists, and in the final analysis, are less effective than "a good ol' German Shepherd" at finding contraband.
This means bad news for OSI and L-3 -- but not right away. According to Forbes, 500 of the machines are already in service, with funds for 500 more already appropriated. So revenue streams should continue trickling along for the time being. It may be worse news for American Science & Engineering (Nasdaq: ASEI ) , which manufactures a different type of body scanner for the government, but could still see sales curtailed along with its rivals.
The good news for investors is that United Technologies (NYSE: UTX ) should dodge this bullet. Reports say TSA is still getting all the money it has asked for bomb detection, so UTC's purchase of InVision from General Electric (NYSE: GE ) back in 2009 could still pay off.
Will United Technologies make the most of its reprieve? Add the stock to your Fool Watchlist and find out.