The Public Is Demanding This Small Company's Product
U.S. police departments face huge expectations. Aside from all of the performance scrutiny they've been under in recent years, they also face the same problems as other parts of our government institutions: they are under great pressure to reduce spending while also achieving strict regulatory targets.
One of the best ways for police departments to help with all of these problems? Body cameras.
Recent studies show that when police officers use body cameras it dramatically reduces use of force incidents. Researchers at the University of South Florida recently released the results of a yearlong pilot program with the Orlando Police Department. The study randomly selected 46 officers to wear body cameras and compared their behavior to 43 officers not equipped with body cameras.
The results are telling.
In the 12-month period from March 2014 through February 2015, use of force incidents dropped 53% with officers wearing body cameras. Civilian complaints against officers wearing body cameras fell 65%.
A study across the Atlantic is even more convincing.
The Cambridge University in England conducted a study of 2,000 officers from four UK police departments and two U.S. police departments.
The study found a 93% drop in civilian complaints against officers wearing body cameras.
Lowering use of force incidents is good on its own. But it also helps reduce operating expenses by avoiding the administrative and legal expenses triggered by use of force incidents.
This dual benefit is just one reason demand for body cameras is soaring in both the public and private sectors.
From 2015 to 2017 the U.S. Justice Department is providing $75 million in funds to help local police departments across the United States purchase 50,000 body cameras.
For example, in January, the Los Angeles Police Department announced a plan to purchase and implement 7,000 body cameras by the end of 2016. The total value of the contract is estimated to be around $57 million over five years. It is the single largest police body camera purchase ever.
Other cities are following suit.
Baltimore launched a police body camera program in May with the goal of 2,500 police wearing body cameras by 2018. The contract is valued at $11.8 million over five years.
The Cincinnati Police Department is implementing 700 body cameras in 2016. The city has an option to purchase another 350 cameras in 2017.
While demand for body cameras is strong in the public sector, it's even stronger in the private sector.
According to market-research firm Tractica, global wearable camera shipments will increase to more than 30 million by 2020 -- more than a 50% increase from 2016. Take a look at the chart below.
Three body camera specialists are in position to cash in on the trend.
From this group, I have chosen to highlight Taser International because of its leading market share in the U.S. and strong performance in 2016.
Taser International, Inc. (Nasdaq: TASR ) was originally known for its Taser product, a weapon that dispenses an electric shock to its target.
Today, Taser has evolved into the largest supplier of police body cameras and wearable technology in the fast-growing industry.
Consistently landing the industry's largest and most lucrative contracts is driving huge revenue growth for Taser. While the S&P 500 is struggling to grow revenue, Taser's revenue is up 141% in the last five years. Take a look below.
There's no question Taser is pricey. Its forward P/E ratio of 116 is a huge premium to the S&P 500.
On the chart, Taser has been volatile. In the last 12 months shares fell more than 50% before rallying more than 100%.
Today, Taser has momentum. Shares are up 65% on the year and trading within 10% of the all-time high.
Risks To Consider: Taser's high valuation tells me investors are pricing in lots of growth for the company. In the long run, I believe Taser will deliver. But in the short run, a weak quarter could trigger a temporary pullback.
Action To Take: Taser has shown it can be quite volatile in the short run. But in the long-run I see a clear market leader in a growth industry. In my book, that's a winning formula for investors looking for stocks to beat the S&P 500 in the next three to five years.
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