Things You Can Invest In: Taser Edition


Fun fact: “Taser” is a registered trademark of a corporation, and not a common, generic word.

Sure, everyone uses it to describe generic stun-guns or defensive weapons carrying electrical charges, but the Taser corporation 100% owns the word “Taser.” They sell Taser-branded defensive weapons of all kinds, along with other non-lethal items often used by law enforcement.

Tasers have become ubiquitous with non-lethal self-defense to the point where one is used every two minutes. While citizens living in some states can buy a Taser for personal protection, Taser (the company) makes the bulk of its money through sales to law enforcement and the military. Since there are more than 1.1 million police officers in the U.S. alone — many who carry Tasers — selling these devices at a few hundred dollars each adds up.

That’s why Taser International went public in 2001. Since then, the company has done well for itself and for its investors, increasing in value in the last few years. While you might think their revenues of over $164 million and slowly rising stock price might make it a good investment, recent developments might prove otherwise.

There have been several models of Tasers made available since the ’70s, but two models — the X26 and the X2 Defender — are currently sold by Taser International.

By United States military [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By United States military [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Since 1994, 850,000 Tasers were sold to 18,000 law enforcement agencies, 17,800 of which are in the United States.

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Taser International even makes Taser-related accessories.

Flickr/PROjyllish
Flickr/jyllish

They’re also known for producing body cameras. Body cameras are a hotly contest issue in American politics. Many police departments have started outfitting their officers with them for the sake of accountability and use during legal cases. In recent months, numerous departments across the country have ordered these cameras in large quantities.

Taser International may be the only makers of the Taser, but they’re not the only company producing body cameras.

Taser
Taser

The Safariland Group is their direct competitor, and they have contracts all around the country for selling body cameras to law enforcement.

Recently, Taser was thought to have won the body camera contract with the NYPD.

Flickr/Sarah Armitt
Flickr/Sarah Armitt

It would have outfitted 5,000 police officers with body cameras at the cost of $6.4 million to the department.

Unfortunately, Safariland beat out Taser for the contract by offering a lower price for their Vievu product.

Vievu
Vievu

This caused the Taser International stock to drop over 15% in a single day.

StockTwits
StockTwits

There was less demand for their product (and loss of a major source of income), thus less demand for the their stock.


Even though Taser lost the NYPD contract for their product, investors still have faith in the company’s stock. Though they’ll have to price their cameras to compete with the likes of the Vievu, Taser International’s defensive weapons and body cameras are still highly in demand, especially when police departments are buying them in droves. There is always a chance the stock will go back up again in the future.

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