9/11 Anniversary: What's Next for Counter-Terrorism Stocks?

(Written by Becca Lipman. Data sourced from Finviz.)

Days before the tenth anniversary of 9/11, America began bracing itself for terrorist threats.

Information taken from Osama Bin Laden’s compound indicated that Al Qaeda was considering a 10-year anniversary terrorist attack on the US. Naturally, authorities are on high alert, making “constant vigilance” the rule of thumb.

So it wasn’t altogether surprising when a “credible” but “unconfirmed” terrorist threat was uncovered yesterday evening.

The details of the threat, as described by the Associated Press, are as follows:

“Late Wednesday Night, U.S counterterrorism officials received a piece of intelligence that included specific but unconfirmed information about at Al-Qaeda plot that was looking to use car bombs, possibly on bridges or tunnels, in New York City or Washington D.C.. And it coincides with the anniversaries of the 9/11 attacks 10 years ago.”

In response, security forces in NYC and D.C have deployed additional resources. September 11th memorial services will continue as planned.

According to Vice President Joe Biden, what counter-terrorism forces fear most are “lone-ranger” terrorists – single or small groups with destructive agendas. Lone rangers leave a smaller trail than larger terror organisations, allowing them to more easily fly under the counter-terrorist radar.

There are currently no reports indicating whether the threat uncovered Thursday evening was the work of a lone ranger or a larger extremist organisation.

Of course, this isn’t the first time a terrorist threat has been identified. In fact, there’s a massive industry with an exposure to the government’s anti-terrorism spending.

If you think the government will continue to splurge on counter terrorism, check out some of these stocks with exposure to terrorism spending.

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1. Analogic Corporation (ALOG): Scientific & Technical Instruments Industry. Market cap of $574.79M. Price (on Fri 9/9) at $44.2. Analogic runs a Security Technology business that consists of explosives and weapons detection systems for aviation security. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 5.72% (equivalent to 11.14 days of average volume). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -5.92% below its SMA20, -12.23% below its SMA50, and -14.95% below its SMA200. It’s been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.51% over the last week.

2. American Science & Engineering Inc. (ASEI): Security & Protection Services Industry. Market cap of $584.64M. Price (on Fri 9/9) at $62.06. American Science & Engineering Inc. scans for bombs and weapons in transportation systems and it has a $150 million order backlog with a market 10-times the company’s current revenues. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 6.29% (equivalent to 7.26 days of average volume). It’s been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.98% over the last week.

3. FLIR Systems, Inc. (FLIR): Aerospace/defence Products & Services Industry. Market cap of $3.99B. Price (on Fri 9/9) at $24.73. FLIR Systems engages in security and surveillance that protects major companies and government facilities. The stock has lost 4.11% over the last year.

4. L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL): Aerospace/defence Products & Services Industry. Market cap of $6.93B. Price (on Fri 9/9) at $63.73. L-3 Communications Corporation, provides command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C3ISR) systems; aircraft modernization and maintenance; and government services in the United States and internationally. The company provides a range of electronic systems used on military and commercial platforms. The stock has lost 2.14% over the last year.

5. NICE Systems Ltd. (NICE): Computer Peripherals Industry. Market cap of $1.94B. Price (on Fri 9/9) at $30.06. Nice Systems tracks terrorism suspects based upon software for abnormal behaviour for counter-terrorism and over phone surveillance. The stock has gained 7.15% over the last year.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to see how analyst ratings have changed for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.

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