|Taser Shares Rise After Upgrade|
Friday January 25, 7:32 pm ET
Taser Rises After Analyst Upgrades on Value, Another Says Toronto Police Could Place Order
NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of stun-gun maker Taser International Inc. climbed Friday after an analyst upgraded the stock, and another said the Toronto Police Service could place a large order for Taser products next year.
Shares of the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company closed up 78 cents, or 8 percent, to $10.48 Friday. The stock has ranged from $7.44 to $19.36 over the past year.
Feltl & Co. analyst Richard Ryan upgraded the stock to "Buy" from "Hold," noting a recent pullback in share price. At Thursday's close, the stock was down about half from its 52-week high of $19.36 set in October, and has lost almost a third of its value in 2008.
"This period of weakness could be related to a series of (strange) news releases primarily relating to old patent infringement issues from a couple of Taser competitors, combined with a rather direct response from Taser management," Ryan wrote in a client note. "During this same time, Taser enjoyed a successful PR campaign with its new consumer Taser at the Consumer Electronics Show."
Earlier this month, Stinger Systems Inc. said it asked the U.S. Patent Office to review a patent related to Taser's M26 stun gun.
The analyst said Taser's new products have increased its revenue dramatically, and items like its C2 personal protection device should lead to more growth.
Jefferies & Co. analyst Matthew McKay said in a client note that the Toronto Police Service is asking for funding to provide Taser stun guns for 3,000 officers. McKay said 500 Toronto policemen currently carry the devices, and a larger order could be worth more than $3 million in revenue to Taser, along with eventual orders for replacement cartridges.
If approved, he said, the order will probably be made next year.
McKay kept a "Buy" rating on the stock, with a price target of $20 per share.