Why TASER Shares Were Zapped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of TASER International (NASDAQ: TASR  ) , a manufacturer of electronic control devices for law enforcement, corrections, and personal defense, dropped as much as 15%, following the release of its fourth-quarter earnings results.

So what: For the quarter, TASER recorded a robust 51% increase in revenue, to $32.1 million, and turned in a profit of $0.07, reversing a year-ago loss of $0.11 in the same period. TASER noted that the jump in revenue was primarily from law enforcement agencies upgrading to its latest taser device, the Taser X2. Wall Street had been expecting $30.5 million in revenue, and a profit of $0.07 for the quarter.

Now what: This appears to be a simple case of investors opening their eyes, and realizing they were paying 30 times forward earnings for a company that "only" met Wall Street's profit projections. Although the boost in revenue from law enforcement was very nice, I believe most traders (not investors) moved into TASER in recent months because of the increasing fear of tougher gun control laws. Rather than resulting in better sales for TASER, it is actually causing sales at both Sturm, Ruger (NYSE: RGR  ) and Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ: SWHC  ) to soar, as consumers load up (no pun intended) on weapons prior to any proposed legislation. Perhaps, if and when tougher gun laws are in place TASER's private sales will soar; but until that point, it seems foolish to chase TASER at these levels.

Craving more input? Start by adding TASER International to your free and personalized Watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with the company.

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