TASER International, Inc. (TASR) Struggles Continue Amid NYPD Drama

TASER International, Inc. (NASDAQ:TASR) continues to slide after Vievu won a contract with the NYPD

by Josh Selway

Published on Oct 13, 2016 at 3:15 PM

TASER International, Inc. (NASDAQ:TASR) is still feeling the heat after the New York Police Department (NYPD) surprisingly chose Vievu to provide body cameras for its officers. Amid broad-market headwinds, the stock has slid another 1.4% to $22.17 today -- on pace for its lowest close since May.

In the meantime, TASER is fighting back, filing a formal complaint against the NYPD. The company wrote in a letter that choosing Vievu was a "grave error that will endanger officers and members of the public," according to the New York Times. And per The Wall Street Journal, TASR offered to provide 1,000 free cameras (subscription required) to the police department.

In response, Vievu's parent company, Safariland, issued a statement, saying "Taser's offer, coming after our contract win, is a desperate attempt to circumvent the process designed to ensure fair treatment of all vendors." There will be a public hearing to review the Vievu deal today. 

As for TASR stock, put buying has been more popular than normal in recent weeks, as traders react to the discouraging news. By the numbers, TASR sports a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.55 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Although this reading shows long calls outnumbering puts, it ranks above 80% of similar marks from the past year, hinting at a relative preference for bearish bets over bullish.

Elsewhere, TASR has long been a favorite of short sellers. After a 9.5% increase in the latest reporting period, short interest represents almost one-fifth of the stock's float -- or more than two weeks' worth of buying power, judging by average daily volumes. 

Turning back to TASER International, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:TASR) technical performance, the shares are 28% higher year-to-date, even after the recent slide. Plus, the rising 200-day moving average could be stepping up as support. Lastly, with TASR's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) sitting in oversold territory at 28 coming into today, the shares could be due for a bounce.

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