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How Much of TASER International's Business Is Still Tasers?


Taser X26P. Image source: TASER International.

Here's a surprising fact for you: TASER International (NASDAQ: TASR) still sells Tasers!

With all that's been said (and written) about TASER's burgeoning business of selling body cameras for police lately, that may come as something of a shock. But TASER reminded us last week that its core business is still the selling of non-lethal stun guns to law enforcement, when it announced that the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in Florida has just placed an order for "2,500 X26P Smart Weapons."

According to TASER's website, the X26P retails for $1,199.99, so you might think that a 2,500-unit shipment would mean $3 million in new revenue for TASER -- but sadly, that's not the case.

In fact, Jacksonville's order was made under TASER's "TASER 60" warranty-cum-upgrade plan. Therefore, the 2,500 X26Ps are being provided as part of an automatic upgrade program, replacing "older TASER weapons" previously purchased by the sheriff's office.

A big-ticket auto-renewal program

What does this mean for investors? Well, first of all, it means no $3 million windfall for TASER. Instead, pursuant to the terms of "TASER 60," it appears Jacksonville is already locked into a program that charges it anywhere from $264 to $372 a year, per Taser, to keep its deputies armed with the latest-model stunguns on the market.

That's not necessarily a bad deal for TASER. Over the course of a five-year contract, it guarantees the company anywhere from $3.3 million to $4.65 million in total revenue. Perhaps more importantly, it locks Jacksonville in to paying those dollars, eliminates the risk of the sheriff's office switching to a competing product for five years, and minimizes TASER's need to invest in marketing to keep Jacksonville upgrading to newer and more expensive models of TASER.

Jacksonville has already signed on the dotted line. They've already agreed to take the upgrades. In fact, they're probably looking forward to it.

Dollars and cents

Big-picture time: Moving beyond Jacksonville, how much of TASER's overall revenues still come from the stun gun business? Quite a lot, it turns out.

According to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, as of last year, TASER was still getting a whopping 82% of its revenues from selling stun guns -- more than four times the revenue arising from Axon cameras and EVIDENCE.com subscriptions combined. What's more, Tasers appear to be a more profitable business than Axons, generating 70% gross profit margins on each unit sold, versus just 42% for Axon sales.

Yes, you read that right. Unit for unit, Taser sales are nearly twice as profitable as Axon sales for TASER.

So yes, it's true: TASER still sells Tasers. And for investors, that's a good thing.

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Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of, nor is he short, any company named above. You can find him on Motley Fool CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked No. 278 out of more than 75,000 rated members.

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