NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Taser International (TASR) is looking to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the ongoing conflict between police officers and civilians by supplying law enforcement with body cameras so police interactions with the public will be recorded.
"The body camera movement to put cameras on cops started in force after the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014," Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Karen Weise told anchor Vonnie Quinn on "Bloomberg Markets" Thursday afternoon.
Weise was referencing a shooting in which a young man was killed by a police officer, the incident sparked nationwide protests and even some riots as the shooting was said by some to be racially motivated.
"There was no recording of it and it is contested what happened," Weise added. "And so that really started a really broad national call to put cameras on officers."
At the time of the Ferguson shooting, Taser has been working on an officer camera solution for about a decade and they "have come to grab by far the largest market share in this rush to put cops on camera," Weise said.
Taser announced on Wednesday a deal with the city of Minneapolis police department for 628 of the company's Axon Body 2 Cameras and 300 of its Taser X2 smart weapons. The order was received in the 2016 first quarter and shipped in the second quarter.
"They've really taken their position and relationship with police forces in the stun-gun industry and moved it to the body camera business," Weise added.
The camera itself only costs a few hundred dollars but Taser is making the bulk of its money from the video storage needed to go along with purchase of the camera. The company is locking in departments to typically a five year contract for cloud storage.
Quinn questioned Weise as to the potential competition for Taser, noting the GoPro (GPRO) could simply stick cameras on officers and be done. But Weise pointed out that it is more than just filming interactions between officers and police, and that what the company is actually selling is its trustworthiness in handling criminal evidence.
Shares of Taser are up by 2.41% to 27.67 on Thursday afternoon.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings has set a "hold" rating and a score of C+ on Taser International stock. The primary factors that have impacted the rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks.
The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, TheStreet Ratings also finds weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.
TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: TASR