TASER Earnings: An Early Look

Earnings season is now starting to wind down, with most companies already having reported their quarterly results. But there are still some companies left to report, and TASER International (NASDAQ: TASR  ) is about to release its quarterly earnings report. The key to making smart investment decisions with stocks releasing their quarterly reports is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you'll be less likely to make an uninformed knee-jerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

TASER has had an up-and-down few years, but the recent controversy over guns in the wake of several tragedies in the past year has reawakened interest in non-lethal weapons. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with TASER over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report on Thursday.

Stats on TASER

Analyst EPS Estimate

$0.07

Year-Ago EPS

($0.01)

Revenue Estimate

$30.5 million

Change From Year-Ago Revenue

43%

Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters

3

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will TASER stun its investors?
Analysts have gotten a lot more excited about TASER recently, having more than doubled their estimates for the company's quarterly profits over the past three months. Shareholders have also gotten more optimistic about TASER's prospects, bidding shares up 13% since mid-November.

The past quarter has been very encouraging for TASER. In the last two weeks of 2012, the company said it got orders for 120 of its AXONFlex video cameras and related accessories, as well as more than 2,600 of its X2 and 1,000 X26 stun guns. In response, the company boosted its revenue estimate above the $30 million mark for the quarter.

The big question for TASER, though, is whether tragedies like the Connecticut school shootings will renew calls for tougher gun-control laws and therefore raise demand for its stun guns. After the December incident, gun companies Sturm, Ruger (NYSE: RGR  ) and Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ: SWHC  ) saw their stocks plunge on fears of tighter regulation. But even in the wake of an exodus by pension-fund investors, many of which have divested themselves of the gunmakers as well as ammunition makers Olin (NYSE: OLN  ) and Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK  ) , the stocks have since recovered most of their lost ground as those fears now appear less likely to become reality.

In TASER's earnings report, look for information about military sales, which are an important component of TASER's overall business. With defense budgets getting cut and the looming sequestration threatening more dramatic cost slashing, TASER needs to make the most of its current public popularity before it wanes.

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