The stun-gun maker's shares are soaring today after the announcement that fourth-quarter revenue will come in at roughly $32 million, a 21% gain from the $26.4 million a year ago. The new guidance is also well above the $28.7 million that analysts were expecting.
Three large orders shipped out last month to the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and the police departments of Philadelphia and Chicago, making the quarter's cut.
TASER didn't provide bottom-line guidance for the quarter, but it should be able to meet Wall Street's target of $0.02 a share. If so, it would be the first time in four quarters that TASER has come through with a profit.
Providing charged weaponry was supposed to be an easy sell over the traditional firearms put out by Sturm, Ruger & Co.
What with occasional headlines about deaths involving TASERs and Google's
TASER's lack of acceptance at the consumer level may not exactly be surprising, but it's undeniable that police forces and other defense-related agencies are drawn to the charged devices. As the economy bounces back and local budgets have wiggle room, TASER stands a good chance of resuming its growth. Analysts see TASER earning $0.11 a share for 2010, on a 19% increase in the top line.
There could be other favorable surprises. TASER also introduced its new PROTECTOR platform of family safety products. (It doesn't involve toddler-sized stun guns.) PROTECTOR is a way for parents to monitor the cell-phone use and driving behavior of their teenagers.
I certainly don't see TASER cornering the market on overprotective parents. In all likelihood, it's probably overstating the demand for high-tech surveillance tools. However, analysts are probably not baking any of PROTECTOR's potential into their near-term projections. As long as it doesn't cost TASER a lot in terms of capital and focus, it may as well try to parlay its established brand in high-tech defense into a somewhat related area.
TASER's back. Mr. Market just doesn't know it yet.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz lives in Miami -- a TASER town. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.