Taser shares are surging

Shares of Taser International rallied by up to 6% in early trading after the company reported strong sales in the first quarter, and earnings that topped forecasts.

The company, which makes products for law enforcement including the eponymous electronic device, reported adjusted EPS of 13 cents. That was better than the estimate of 7 cents, according to Bloomberg.

The company reported sales of $US44.8 million, up 23.7%, and better than the estimate of $US39.96.

“TASER International is off to an outstanding start in fiscal 2015 thanks to strength in the TASER Weapons segment, as well as continued growth and new wins in the AXON business,” CEO Rick Smith said in the release. “New programs such as the Standard Issue Grant Program are examples of how we are partnering with law enforcement agencies for the long-term, and we are enthusiastic thus far about the results of our investments.”

The company noted that the increase in revenues was due to higher sales of tasers. It also saw increased sales of its AXON body cameras worn by police.

TASER Weapons segment gross margins increased to 71.1% in first quarter 2015 compared to 66.4% in the previous period.

Taser shares have staged a 58% rally over the past 12 months.

Analysts pointed to increased demand of Taser’s products during the protests in Ferguson, Missouri last August, when shares spiked by more than 10% on a single day.

Earlier this month, shares rose by more than 8% after the City of London Police Department announced that it ordered 178 AXON body-worn video cameras in the first quarter.

The rise in shares also came after the shooting of Walter Scott in North Charleston, which was filmed by a bystander; the city mayor said body cameras were ordered for every officer on the street.

Here’s a chart showing the early spike in shares:

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