Investing

U.S. Companies That Track Terrorists, Aid Homeland Security and Sell to Law Enforcement

Jon C. Ogg

America lost its ability to ease into the thought that it was safe again on Monday after the Boston Marathon bombs killed three people and injured more than 100. This is very unfortunate, and for many of us it brings back the concerns and fears of 2001 to 2003. After Boston was hit with dual bombings around the finish line of the marathon, security levels were raised in New York, Washington D.C. and elsewhere. Now new reports have tied in other packages, and a report on Tuesday showed that a suspicious package has been found in LaGuardia Airport in New York City. President Obama has even said that the FBI is investigating this incident as though it is an act of terrorism.

Needless to say, you can bet that airport security and security at public events will be now be alerted and higher. If the trends do manage to escalate, America likely will have to deal with more audio and video surveillance, hazardous materials suits and more and more monitoring of all sorts. The long and short of the matter is that this will translate to increased orders for companies that serve the intelligence and law enforcement communities.

Alliant Techsystems Inc. (NYSE: ATK) is known for boosters and propulsion for air and space technologies, but the company also happens to be the largest bullet manufacturer in America for military, law enforcement and retail. It supplies bullets and ammunition to the Armed Forces, Department of Justice, FBI, Department of Homeland Security and others, and it operates the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant. The company even announced the delivery of 2 billion 7.62 mm rounds to the U.S. Army last September. ATK’s value is almost $2.4 billion and it is expected to generate about $4.3 billion in sales in 2013.

FLIR Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) has remained independent and it handles various degrees of imaging via night-time vision, thermal imaging, chemical and biological detection, explosives detection and more. With a market value of more than $3.5 billion today, its expected sales for 2013 are projected to be more than $1.5 billion.

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: KTOS) is a national security technology company providing products, services and solutions for security in the United States. While diversified, Kratos recently announced contracts to deploy specialized security systems for mass transportation, rail and critical infrastructure awards. The company has a market value of about $285 million and it is expected to have sales of close to $975 million in 2013.

L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LLL) has made many acquisitions after the 2001 to 2003 period, and it offers command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance products and services. It is also involved in many other defense applications. L-3 has a market value of about $7.3 billion, and it is expected to generate $12.6 billion in sales in 2013.

Lakeland Industries Inc. (NASDAQ: LAKE) is very small, but it makes chemical protective clothing, disposable protective clothing, safety gloves, turnout gear, high visibility clothing, flame and heat-resistant clothing and other items. Its value is a mere $19 million, and we would point out that this one is often skipped or overlooked because of its size and liquidity. Sales are running at just under $100 million per year.

OSI Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIS) covers the homeland security, health care, defense and aerospace industries, but it is known for its Rapiscan Systems for security screening in airports, ports and buildings. It has a market value of about $1.1 billion and is expected to have 2013 sales of more than $830 million.

Raytheon Co. (NYSE: RTN) may still best be known for its Patriot Missiles and their more modern replacements, but do not forget some of its other outfits involved in integrated communications and intelligence. This ranges from seeing through walls to much more. Raytheon also acquired Applied Signal Technology in recent years for its advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems and services. Raytheon is worth some $18.7 billion, and sales are expected to be about $23.8 billion in 2013.

Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: SWHC) and Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. (NYSE: RGR) are the two gun leaders in America and allied nations. We cannot help but wonder what this does for renewing gun demand ahead of gun control legislation. It seems that after 14 people were stabbed at a college in Houston just last week, and with two bombs going off, that the argument against gun ownership may have lost some of its bite. Smith & Wesson is worth about $560 million, and the expected 2013 sales are about $580 million. Sturm Ruger has a market value of about $934 million and is expected to have sales of about $514 million in 2013.

TASER International Inc. (NASDAQ: TASR) makes what you would call Tasers, or stun guns, for law enforcement. Whether its orders will increase as a result is probably up for debate, but its shares enjoyed glory days from 2003 to 2005, when the stock went from less than $5 to $30 briefly. Its shares have traded sideways for the most part, and it is very thinly covered by Wall St. TASER’s market value is still more than$410 million, and sales were almost $115 million in 2012.

There are many other companies that will stand to benefit if the spending around terrorism, homeland defense, surveillance and espionage rises in the near future. We are not trying to pick winners here by any means. Many information technology, service holding companies and larger defense and warfare companies have many overlaps in homeland security.