Research Question: Will Taser continue to grow its body camera business, while successfully signing law enforcement agencies onto Evidence.com’s more comprehensive service plans?
Report Available: February 4, 2016
Blueshift’s initial research shows TASR continuing to grow its body camera business at a rapid pace, scoring more orders of late, including from very large metro areas. TASR’s deal with MSFT Azure to host Evidence.com may lead to increased law enforcement adoption. But given the finite number of law enforcement officers and a ~$350 per cam sale price, TASR will have to rely on its Evidence.com’s subscription growth to materially impact revenue and earnings over the long haul.
- TASR revenue exceeded its internal expectations by growing 14% in Q3. However, heavy investment in its body cam business caused earnings to fall five cents short of the $.08 EPS target. After a yearlong trial, TASR scored a huge contract with the London Metropolitan Police Service (MET) and will provide 22,000 cameras to the agency by spring. The opportunity serves as a foundation for TASR to expand internationally.
- TASR’s total international addressable market for its Axon body camera is ~$2 billion which TASR is just beginning to penetrate. Plus, TASR has only penetrated 1% of the international market with its non-lethal weapons. The global rise in police body cam adoption may give TASR more inroads to sell its stun guns.
- TASR recently changed its cloud service provider from AMZN’s AWS to MSFT Azure to host Evidence.com. TASR’s hosting on Azure may lead to synergies and seamless integrations for police departments already using MSFT Office and Windows for its evidence management and other back-end police work including report writing. TASR also recently announced large orders of its Axon body cams and Evidence.com solution with nearly 20 law enforcement agencies (and nearly 1,000 cameras), including DeKalb County, GA, Scottsdale, AZ, and Daytona Beach, FLA, which will ship in Q4 2015 and Q1 2016.
- Concerns exist whether police agencies will sign up for TASR’s Evidence.com, the company’s leading opportunity to materially drive top and bottom line growth. Others believe that MSI will be offering a superior product. Some studies, including a U.S. Customs and Border Protection study, found limited effectiveness in the use of body cams. A message board poster claiming to have seen the MET/TASR body cam deal through a London MET freedom of information act wrote that the deal, including Evidence.com services, was worth only £3.4M, which equates to just $240 per camera. If true, these numbers could be disappointingly low.
- Blueshift’s October 20 TASR report update found law enforcement’s adoption and interest in body cameras increasing since we first reported on TASR in June. TASR’s bundled packages, including cams, stun guns, and Evidence.com were overcoming cost woes. A police department source and a TASR competitor both said TASR had gained share in the past four months. Blueshift’s June 15 report found TASR would be one of many beneficiaries of the growth body camera use, but faced headwinds over the price and security of its cloud storage services.
Will TASR continue to dominate the body cam market? Do law enforcement agencies find enough value in Evidence.com to sign up for unlimited storage? Will TASR’s move to MSFT Azure catalyze a law enforcement cloud adoption spree? To gain insight into this TASR and the body cam market, Blueshift will gather data and issue a market research report from independent sources in the following areas: Police departments, Non-Police law enforcement agencies, Vendors/competitors, Lawmakers, Law enforcement IT professionals, and Industry specialists.
Companies: Taser International (TASR), Digital Ally (DGLY), Google (GOOG), Kopin (KOPN), Panasonic (TYO: 6752), Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT), Sony (SNE), Motorola Solutions (MSI)