Trend Spotter

Graceful Grady keeps an eye on a few contrarian picks in a turbulent market

of mind.

So you like growth names that have kept true to their original story?
Yes, and Taser International (TASR), the maker of electronic control devices for law enforcement, reflects that as well. The stock got as high as $19 last October before tumbling to under $9 a share in January 2008. I’ve been following the stock since a couple of years ago when it was taking off. The only insider selling has come at times when the CEO was consolidating profits-the stock was rising rapidly and being split every few months. Taser is strapped with little if any debt. Look, this is a controversial product, but by the same token, Taser’s customer base in law enforcement and the military is going to be steady, even in a recession. The company has a new product line, too, called the C2, which is targeting the consumer market. I think it can reach a target of $17 a share.

What’s it going to take to keep a tech stock buoyant in this environment?
I think a good pipeline of products helps, but a solid market position is key. Garmin (GRMN) has been beaten up, falling from the high $120s to around $60, but the fact is when it comes to GPS products, there are only two big, big names-Garmin and Tom Tom. Garmin’s market base is big, and it can count on a lot of contracts from automakers now that its GPS systems are offered as an option in new cars. Its international exposure should help cushion any aftereffects of a recession. The stock meets two critical criteria: Garmin has almost no debt, and there haven’t been any telltale, large insider sales of late.

Additionally, it has some interesting products on the way including an ultra-thin, touch-screen phone slated to come out in the third quarter of this year. In all, this is a stock that should make it back to $90 a share target price in the next 12 to 18 months.

Grady’s Picks

  Price

52-week Price Range

     
Company (Ticker) (•) Low High 2008 Est. EPS 2008 P/E Ratio Comment
Crocs Inc. (CROX) $17.65 $18 $75 $2.69 6.6 A strong brand and international presence work in the footwear maker’s favor.
Garmin Ltd. (GRMN) $57.29 $52 $126 $4.52 12.7 One of the big names in the GPS business, Garmin is developing other product lines.
Taser International (TASR) $9.36 $8 $19 $0.34 27.5 Law enforcement orders are healthy, as are sales of personal protection devices.

DATA AS OF 3/17/08 SOURCE: YAHOO FINANCE

Pages: 1 2
ACROSS THE WEB