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Taser Quarterly Profit Rises on Jump In Sales

Stun-gun maker Taser Internationalsaid on Wednesday fourth-quarter earnings rose on a 53% jump in sales as it recovered from past legal problems.

Net profit increased to $2.3 million, or 4 cents a share, from $179,000, or breakeven on a per share basis, a year earlier. The earnings were in line with analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Financial consensus estimate.

Revenue rose to $19.3 million from $12.6 million, slightly better than Wall Street expectations of $19.19 million.

In recent years, Taser has battled an onslaught of lawsuits and an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to concerns about the safety of its stun guns. The SEC investigation, which hurt sales, was eventually dropped without charges, and 30 product liability lawsuits have been dismissed or decided in the company's favor since 2004.

Taser said it would pay a final installment of $8 million in the first quarter to settle certain shareholder lawsuits.

"We feel we are positioned to continue the growth of our business into 2007," Chief Executive Rick Smith said in a statement.

Taser, which sells mainly to law enforcement agencies, plans to start shipping a personal stun gun in the second quarter.