Taser: Don't Forget the E

It's a good day if you're an investor in Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick Taser (Nasdaq: TASRE  ) . Tuesday morning, the company announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission completed its investigation of the firm's safety claims and revenue recognition policies. No enforcement actions will be recommended. Investors have responded by sending the stock higher by more than 15% as of this writing.

This is good news, to be sure. But is it that good? Not really. In fact, it's the minimum you should have expected if you've plunked even one thin dime on this stock since January, when the informal inquiry first came to the fore.

Think about it. Was anyone expecting the SEC to formally investigate Taser before September? I sure wasn't. It was barely a month after I had re-recommended the stock for Rule Breakers that the news broke. I was feeling stupid. And the company's press release, which came dangerously close to shifting the blame for the inquiry on naked shorting, left too many questions unanswered. So I asked CEO Rick Smith for an explanation. And he kindly gave us one.

Since then, the company reported dismal sales and earnings for the third quarter and, in November, filed this notice with the SEC that it would be late submitting its 10-Q for the third quarter because its financial statements for the third and second quarters "... should no longer be relied upon." At issue is the way the company has accounted for legal and professional fees. Read the filing and you'll see that the reported numbers shouldn't change much on an annualized basis (according to the company), because the timing of accruals/invoicing resulted in expenses being recognized in the wrong period.

But that doesn't mean you should take this development lightly. Taser is out of compliance with the SEC and the attendant Sarbanes-Oxley regulations. And the Nasdaq has threatened to boot the company from its ranks if it doesn't get its house in order, which is why the ticker now has the ugly-looking E tacked on the end.

I still believe in Taser and its massive market opportunity. So if you have Taser stock, it's a great time to hold on and wait for more good news. But if you don't, please, ask yourself: Why am I buying? And what price am I holding out for?

All the related Foolishness you could ever need is right here:

Taseris one of the few stocks in theMotley Fool Rule Breakersportfolio not outpacing the market's equivalent return. All told, David Gardner and his team of Foolish analysts are smashing the index by more than 15% as of this writing. Get in on the action by taking a risk-free 30-day trial to Rule Breakers. Or sign up for one year and get Stocks 2006, which features our analysts' best ideas for the year ahead, free. And everything is backed by our airtight money-back guarantee.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers has had the misfortune of grabbing an exposed computer plug before, but he's never been shocked by a Taser. He figures it hurts. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. You can find out what's in his portfolio by checking Tim's Fool profile. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.

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