Goldman Sachs says buy Taser maker Axon Enterprise, as greater oversight of police will drive demand
It's time to buy Axon Enterprise , Goldman Sachs said. Analyst Michael Ng initiated coverage of the stock with a buy rating, saying Axon's longstanding ties to state and local police will drive demand for the company's stun gun and other less-lethal products. The analyst said this comes amid greater calls for accountability in public safety. "AXON's market leadership with TASER has resulted in deep customer relationships with state and local law enforcement (e.g., 17k of 18k US law enforcement agencies) and a highly valuable installed base of law enforcement personnel," Ng wrote to clients on Tuesday. "In addition to opportunities for TASER upgrades and installed base expansion, AXON is very well positioned to cross-sell sensors, such as body cameras and fleet cameras, and related software and cloud storage and analytics services," Nd added. Axon Enterprise shares are more than 33% higher this year, and outperformed with a more than 5% gain in 2022 as well. The analyst's $263 price target implies 18% upside from Tuesday's close. The taser maker stock was slightly higher in Wednesday premarket trading. Amid growing calls for oversight of law enforcement, the analyst noted Axon should easily step in to meet greater demand for sensors such as body cameras, given its customer relationship with roughly 17,000 out 18,000 U.S. law enforcement agencies. The firm has dedicated sales representatives for 1,200 for the largest agencies representing 70% of law enforcement patrol officers, according to the note. All this should improve revenue growth, the analyst said. "Growing demand for body cameras, fleet cameras, and less-lethal weapons against the backdrop of initiatives to improve accountability and effectiveness in public safety and alongside AXON's 10+ year future contracted revenue provides visibility into revenue growth," Ng wrote. "In addition, AXON should benefit from the expansion into new geographies, new customer segments (e.g., federal, consumer), and adjacent products and services," he added. —CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this report.