Investing

Companies Profiting From Crime & Punishment (BCO, MOC, CXW, GEO, SWHC, RGR, TASR)

America’s prisons are full, we have a serious border issue, and many cities are not really seeing the improvements in crime rates that was seen in many reports.  24/7 Wall St. has taken a look before at many current issues and there are many public companies which are based almost entirely around crime and defense.  While many companies are diversified and many conglomerates have units focusing on this serious matter, we are focusing on the pure-play companies around crime, defense, and safety. 

The Brink’s Company (NYSE: BCO), Command Security Corp. (AMEX: MOC), Corrections Corporation of America (NYSE: CXW), The GEO Group, Inc. (NYSE: GEO), Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: SWHC), Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. (NYSE: RGR), and TASER International Inc. (NASDAQ: TASR) are just some of the key companies that investors have to choose from when it comes to the safety of America.  We wanted to take a look at where these shares trade, what they are worth, and even if those crazy Wall Street analysts think they are good investments or not based upon consensus Thomson Reuters price target data.  We have not included the Homeland Security winners as those companies are motivated by a different issue.

The Brink’s Company (NYSE: BCO) may be considered more of a transportation company, but if the world was full of a bunch angels then it would not be needed.  The company is perhaps the world’s top provider of secure transportation and cash management services.   Banks and merchants have to secure, cash, jewelry, stones, and other small precious and valuable goods because there is an element of society that will literally kill for those goods.  This armed and secure transportation services operation trades with shares at $27.64 and its market capitalization is close to $1.3 billion.  Its 52-week trading range is $18.30 to $34.46. Sales in 2010 were $3.12 billion and Thomson Reuters sees 2011 revenues of $3.76 billion.  The consensus price target is roughly $36.00.

Command Security Corp. (AMEX: MOC) may have some overlaps that are not solely law enforcement, but this is a private security company with Rodgers Police, with over 6,000 armed and unarmed workers for the Secret Service, Fortune 1000 companies, and other government and/or private entities.  The difference here is that this company is tiny compared to peers/  It sometimes skips trading days.  At $1.59 it has a market cap of about $17.5 million and its 52-week range is $1.45 to $2.47.  Revenues in 2010 (March year-end) were over $145 million.  Unfortunately, this one just lost its CEO. This one is too small for most firms to cover it. 

Corrections Corporation of America (NYSE: CXW) is where you end up after being a bad boy and when you big ambition of life was “three-hots and a cot.”  The company owns and operates privatized correctional and detention facilities  in America. Only the federal government and three states have more facilities than the “Con Hotel” of Corrections Corporation with some 66 facilities that include 45 company-owned facilities with a total design capacity of approximately 90,000 beds in 19 states and the District of Columbia.  At Revenues in 2010 were 1.68 billion and Thomson Reuters has estimates of $1.73 billion for 2011 sales.  At $22.79, its 52-week trading range is $18.19 to $26.89 and its market capitalization is over $2.4 billion.  The consensus price target is roughly $30.00.

The GEO Group, Inc. (NYSE: GEO) competes with Corrections Corp. as it provides outsourced services managing correctional, detention, and mental health and residential treatment facilities in the United States, Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.  At $24.58, the market capitalization is about $1.58 billion and the 52-week range is $19.01 to $25.95. Sales in 2010 were $1.27 billion and Thomson Reuters expects sales of about $1.64 billion in 2011.  The consensus price target is roughly $31.17.

Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: SWHC) and Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. (NYSE: RGR) are two of those companies which live on both sides of the ‘crime and defense sector’ when you think about it.  The arguments for and against guns are many, but crime and public-defending cannot go without bringing in the gun manufacturers.  The companies probably do not want this addressed too much, but whether you are cop or a hardened con chances are that you are packing a gun from one of these two companies or from their rivals.  Smith & Wesson trades at $3.45, has a 52-week trading range of $3.27 to $4.60, and has a market cap of about $208 million. S&W’s sales in 2010 (different fiscal year, April) over $406 million and Thomson Reuters sees sales of over $390 million in 2011. Strum Ruger trades at $20.73, and its 52-week range is $12.66 to $24.05 with a market cap of about $395 million.  Sales in 2010 were $255.2 million and Thomson Reuters sees sales of over $278 million in 2011.  Let’s not forget about home security operations as well.  The consensus price target for S&W is roughly $5.02 and the consensus price target for Sturm, Ruger is roughly $25.00.

TASER International Inc. (NASDAQ: TASR) is a controversial company because its Tasers (stun guns) have been the subject of many wrongful death suits against police departments and around the devices.  What is amazing is that the one feature is rarely addressed publicly… Police sometimes have to use force.  When you are attacking the police, or when you are resisting arrest and cannot be reasoned with that you have to go to the clink, would you rather have your head bashed with a baton, would you rather have a hollow-point-.44 enter your chest and exit your back the size of an orange, or would you rather be tasered?  At $4.48, its 52-week range is $3.52 to $5.17 and its market capitalization is approximately $270 million.  The company is now expected to run at profitability.  Sales in 2010 were $86.9 million and Thomson Reuters expects sales of over $98 million in 2010.  The consensus price target is roughly $5.17 but it is thinly followed.

Not including some of the defense companies and others like Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE: TYC) and Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) and Diebold, Incorporated (NYSE: DBD) makes this feel very incomplete, but we wanted to focus on pure-plays in security, weapons, prison, and others.  There are also dozens of OTC or Pink Sheet stocks that can fit in the category of crime and punishment, but we usually refrain from covering such small companies.
 
JON C. OGG