A Not-So-Tough Day for TASER

TASER (Nasdaq: TASR  ) must be an electrifying stock to hold. On the one hand, mildly good news can lift the stock like a helium balloon in a windstorm. On the other, bad news can pulverize the shares like a wrecking ball to a wedding cake. (OK, enough with the analogies.)

In just 24 hours, investors have seen both extremes. Yesterday, they bid the shares lower by roughly 11% on news of a counterclaim in a legal dispute and a near-death experience in a police action in northern California.

Now today, the shares are up more than 8% on news that a TASER device helped prevent a shooting in a Washington state police action. Also of note is Phillips Smith's purchase of 100,000 more shares during yesterday's downdraft. Smith is the father of founding brothers Rick and Tom Smith and a TASER board member.

So, who's right -- the bears or the bulls? I wish I knew for sure, but my gut says go with the bull. The new legal action reads too much like a practical joke.

Bestex Company, which ... Um, actually, I don't know what it does. Its website is riddled with broken links and vacant text. Let's just say it sells stuff.

Anyway, Bestex issued this press release, in which it accused TASER of misleading statements. Oh, and it says that TASER's stock is overvalued, too. I haven't seen anything like it since I was six. Back then, a good nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah was advanced debate. Surely, that can't make for press release fodder, right?

Maybe, but I'm not a legal scholar, which means I can't guess whether TASER's claims are as specious as Bestex says. But publishing statements like this doesn't increase my faith that Bestex is credible:

...TASER International, Inc. is desperate to maintain the illusion that it has an unassailable monopoly in the consumer market for its new X26C Citizen Defense System consumer taser, since with OTCBB traded Stinger Systems, Inc.'s rapid encroachment into the law enforcement market and other major companies' planned entry into that market, it is now evident that TASER International, Inc. has no such monopoly in the law enforcement market.

What, no nyah-nyah? If Stinger is all Bestex can muster, then I'm hardly surprised to see Smith buying. Maybe I should have joined him.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers would rather suffer a TASER zap than a bullet, but he hopes to never have to choose. 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 his Fool profile. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.


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