This week, TASER announced that it will delay its first-quarter 10-Q filing because of accounting errors. On the upside, it also reported that that the Securities and Exchange Commission has ended a formal inquiry into its business and stock. Meanwhile, the 16th product-liability lawsuit against the company was dismissed with prejudice last week, though at least 45 more remain on the books.
If the news appears to be a mixed bag, you're right. For example, while the SEC notice is encouraging, investors following the company knew that there was little at risk after a similar announcement was made in December. The final notice has more to do with an investigation into whether there was deliberate manipulation of TASER's stock by an outside party. Apparently, the answer is no.
And TASER's accounting problems, while disconcerting, don't appear to be a huge deal either -- or so says the company. Instead, the bugaboos are described as clerical errors having to do with the calculation of indirect manufacturing expense related to inventory. TASER says there will be no impact on reported revenues for the periods in question, though a broader accounting of the changes will be included in the latest 10-Q when it is filed.
In other words, neither of these so-called news events should mean much to Foolish investors. The lawsuit dismissal is a positive sign, of course. But what's really needed is more news like this: According to a survey conducted by the Police Federation of England and Wales (Polfed), 40% of 141,000 surveyed U.K. police officers have been assaulted in conducting their jobs. And 89% of those said they ought to be permitted to use TASER stun guns. Nice.
So let's end the pity parties, OK? No one is out to get TASER. Either this is a growth stock, or it isn't. Management, please file the 10-Q, beat a few more lawsuits, and get more police precincts buying, since it sure seems as though they want to. Then show us the massive growth that's long been promised, TASER. That's what Rule Breaking investors expect. It's also what they deserve.
Shocked yet? Try a dose of related Foolishness:
- TASER has been a huge disappointment thus far.
- Great PR doesn't necessarily make for a great quarter.
- TASER turned a twofer in the lawsuit game in January.
TASER is aMotley Fool Rule Breakersselection. Ask us for anall-access passto find out what other stocks are helping David Gardner and his Foolish band of analysts to beat the market's average return by nearly 12%. It's free for 30 days.
Fool contributorTim Beyersonly breaks the rules in his portfolio. Wimp. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. You can find out which stocks he owns by checking Tim's Foolprofile. The Motley Fool has an ironcladdisclosure policy.