TASER Electrifies the Headlines Again

So TASER (Nasdaq: TASR  ) is in the news again. And the stun gun maker's electrifying cameo at the University of Florida campus during Monday's town forum hosted by Sen. John Kerry isn't TASER's finest moment.

Several versions of the video have amassed views numbering into the millions on Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) YouTube. The lightning-quick nature of the clip-culture audience has even whipped up parodies and a dance remix.

The fact that the incident has become late night comedy show fodder is a testament to the less-lethal benefits of TASER's weaponry over semiautomatic guns. However, since the extent of the force used to restrain the protestor is calling into question the campus officers' tactics, TASER's name is getting dragged along for the notorious ride.

In fact, if you go by the YouTube video titles, you'd think TASER is playing more than just a cameo.

Title

YouTube Views

"University of Florida student Tasered at Kerry forum"

1,201,775

"UF Student Tasered at John Kerry Speech"

658,793

"Student Tasered for Asking Sen Kerry About Voter Suppression"

361,363

Hot story. It also comes at a time when TASER has been an even hotter stock. TASER has had its share of trials and tribulations over the past couple of years, yet the stock has more than doubled since bottoming out in March.

Orders keep flowing in. Just yesterday, the United States Forest Service ordered 700 of TASER's X26 stun guns. There was an even larger follow-on order from the French government earlier in the week.

Viewers of the video may question the arrest and cringe at the protestor's shrieks while he's being electrocuted. Did the police go too far? Is it wrong to take him into custody? Those are issues for a non-financial platform, my friend. What I do know is that all of the videos end shortly after the X26 was used, because it was at that point when he stopped resisting the arrest.

So this viral video performance isn't going to stop the flow of orders. It may prompt authorities to invest more in proper stun-gun training, but it should not slow down TASER's recovery. Analysts expect earnings per share to climb 73% this year, before soaring by another 84% come 2008.

As one of the earliest Rule Breakers recommendations, TASER may not pack the "gee whiz" technology of other defense-sector picks in the newsletter service, such as military robotics specialist iRobot (Nasdaq: IRBT  ) or security-scanning equipment maker American Science & Engineering (Nasdaq: ASEI  ) . It's hard to argue against growth, though.

"Don't tase me, bro" may become one of the most popular phrases of 2007, but the better market bet -- for the moment -- is to go with the TASER instead. 

For more recent Foolish coverage on TASER, see Fool Video: Time for TASER?


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