Consumers are interested in buying tasers during nationwide social unrest: taser maker CEO

Taser maker Axon’s business has picked up with consumers amidst the latest period of social unrest sweeping the country following the murder of George Floyd by Minnesota police.

“Yes we have seen an uptick in [consumer] demand,” said Axon founder and CEO Rick Smith on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade. Axon primarily sells its tasers, cloud computing services and body cameras to 17,000 out of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the country. But the company’s products could also be purchased online by private citizens.

Added Smith, “People are concerned about their personal safety and many people don’t want to have a gun in their house or if they do have a gun, you want to do everything you can not to use it. So we are continuing to see a lot of interest from consumers in our personal defense taser devices.”

A Taser X26 on display. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Even before the latest spate of unrest, Axon’s business was on an upswing due to new product introductions and law enforcement ordering tasers to stop sharing among officers during the COVID-19 pandemic. First quarter sales surged 27% from the prior year to $147 million. International sales rose 38% to a quarterly record of $30 million. Adjusted operating profits more than doubled.

Axon’s stock is up 28% year-to-date, outperforming the S&P 500’s 4% drop.

“Our base case Axon thesis assumes the company continues to benefit from the early stages of two new product cycles with new AB3 body camera sales and TASER7 production that can meet existing demand,” wrote Needham analyst Scott Berg in a recent note.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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