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TASER's 4Q earnings drop 98 percent on lower sales, higher expenses

The Associated Press

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.- Stun-gun maker Taser International Inc. reported Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit dropped 98 percent on lower sales and higher expenses, as the company fought lawsuits during the period.

Taser said its quarterly income declined to $92,697, or break even per share, from $4.7 million, or 7 cents per share, a year ago. Sales fell 34 percent to $12.6 million from $19.2 million last year.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected earnings of 1 cent per share on sales of $12.5 million.

For the full year, the Scottsdale-based company posted net income of $1 million, or 2 cents per share, down from $18.9 million, or 30 cents per share, in the previous year. Sales fell 30 percent to $47.7 million from $67.6 million.

The company has been fighting lawsuits that charge its weapons played a role in accidental deaths. Taser has denied the allegations.

In mid-December, the Securities and Exchange Commission ended a formal investigation into the company's claims about the safety of its stun guns, and recommended no enforcement action.

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