Every Tuesday morning I struggle with the same dilemna. Do I start my day in the office checking e-mails, blogging for Investor Soup and doing research on stocks for our sites? Or, do I go online and watch 24? No contest ... I opt for 24 every time.
Perhaps you have seen the show on Fox? Kiefer Sutherland plays the rogue FBI agent, Jack Bauer, who routinely saves the world. The show covers 24 hours in Agent Bauer's life. It is a well-written show with an interesting plot device that really keeps the viewers hanging. What really drives the show though, is the compelling performance of Sutherland. You never know when he will snap and send several enemy agents to “meet their maker.”
In Agent Bauer’s honor, the star of today’s “show” is Taser International (NASDAQ:TASR), a company that manufactures products the agent very well might use in the line of duty. The company’s products are “Advanced Electronic Control Devices (ECDs), designed for law enforcement, medical, military, and other markets. Taser’s devices use the company’s proprietary technology “to incapacitate dangerous, combative, or high-risk subjects who pose a risk “ to law enforcement officers, citizens, as a safer alternative to other uses of force.
TASR, as a stock, has been both a meteor and a rock. From its IPO price of $6 in 2001 to its high of $154 in early 2004, this stock was the darling of the market. The stock was so hot, in fact, that it had THREE stock splits in 2004 (a 3 for 1 and two 2 for 1’s)!  ... Then a series of poor business decisions (Auto Taser and others), some very bad publicity and very strong selling dropped the stock precipitously. The stock has trended down over the last five years, hitting its 52-week high of $7.63 in late September of 2008, then dropping like the proverbial rock as it hit a historic low of $2.54 in November of 2008. The stock has proceeded to make turtles of its chart over the past six months.
Despite this record, I am still bullish on the stock. I took a look at Taser’s financials and key statistics and came away impressed. It has a very solid cash position, no long term debt (which I like), and solid revenues. The company did show a small operating loss in the most recent calendar quarter and don’t forecast a return to profits until next calendar year, but I see that as more as a blip than a trend. TASR has the financial strength to weather any storms that might come their way. What is most encouraging is that the company is well diversified in several strong, recession resistant (is anything recession proof these days?) markets: law enforcement and military. Another encouraging technical sign is that its short interest ratio has declined significantly of late. The stock is trading under both its 50 and 200 day moving averages and Stochastics indicate that this stock is oversold.
To bring Agent Bauer back into the mix, he could really use TASR's products! I have seen both bad and good guys reduced to quivering mounds of Jello by being "TASERED" on his show. After a period of incapacitation, the person is as "good as new.". However, when Agent Bauer shoots someone with his regular gun, they usually stay very dead. I wonder if TASR does product placements on shows like 24? Might be a good idea.
Disclosure: no positions