Taser International Shocks Wall Street; Marissa Mayer’s Having a Plentiful Year; Laboring Away

Zap to it…

Image courtesy of digitart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Nothing like accountability to drive earnings up. The big winner amongst the civil unrest that has been infecting our country is Scottsdale-based Taser International. The company just reported strong first quarter earnings that beat expectations. The company reported revenue of $44.8 million with earnings per share of 13 cents, while analysts only expected 7 cents on $40 million in revenue. News of the boffo earnings even sent shares of the company up nearly 10% at one point today. Maybe analysts haven’t seen the news lately, because a lot of that came from Taser’s Axon body cameras  – yeah, they make those too – which, given all the unfortunate events involving law enforcement, are rapidly gaining in popularity. It seems everybody wants law enforcement to don those body cameras from lawmakers to average citizens.Yes, it’s hard to believe it wasn’t just the zappers that led to those great first quarter earnings.  In fact, Taser’s products are so hot lately (no pun intended) that shares are up 83% for the year.

Going green…

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Marissa Mayer had a very good year. Well, in her bank account anyway. However, it could have even been better. The Yahoo chief pulled down about $42 million for 2014, only getting a little more than half of her $2 million target bonus and and close to 70% of her stock awards. She could have made more. A lot more. Like way over $12 million more. Like more than $55 million in total. But, alas, the company stock didn’t do as well hoped. Oh well. Maybe next year. The way it works over at Yahoo, and presumably many other companies like it, is that folks like Ms. Mayer get paid according to how well they perform and if they are able to meet certain goals set by the board. She didn’t exactly meet them but she is not exactly hurting either. Since she took the helm at the company in 2012, Yahoo’s stock more than doubled. It also helps that Yahoo has a big chunk of Alibaba Group, which helped bring in some that $42 million. As for 2015, the Yahoo chief isn’t expected to take in as much since some of that bonus cash was from one time stock and option awards. But she’ll likely still have more than enough for a rainy day.

Labor gains…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Looks like there are a lot less people filing for unemployment benefits, according to the Department of Labor.  In fact, it’s been 15 years since numbers like this have even graced our fickle little economy. The number of people collecting unemployment checks for the very first time fell 34,000 to 262,000 applicants.  Analysts expected that number to be closer to 290,000 people. Employers even added 126,000 people to the payroll. Even the number of people who collect unemployment checks took a nice welcome dive by about 74,000 to 2.25 million people. That’s another figure that hasn’t been this low in almost fifteen years. All that aggravation over March’s numbers that gave us such fiscal economic anxiety turned out to be much ado about nothing. Well, it wasn’t nothing, but at least we can relegate it to a bad, distant memory.

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