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Year-ago gain, higher costs hurt Taser 1Q profit

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Stun gun maker Taser Inc. said Thursday its first-quarter net income fell 13 percent due to higher costs and last year's gain from a litigation benefit, but revenue rose as law enforcement agencies bought new products.

Results topped market expectations and shares rose 6 percent.

Net income for the January-to-March quarter fell to $3.3 million, or 6 cents per share, from $3.8 million, or 7 cents per share, in the same months last year. Analysts expected 4 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Last year's quarter included a $2.2 million gain after Taser trimmed the amount set aside in a litigation reserve. A judge reduced the amount awarded to its opponents in a lawsuit.

Revenue rose 19 percent, to $30.4 million from $25.6 million, as law enforcement agencies bought the latest stun guns.

Sales and general expenses rose 27 percent, to $11.2 million, as the company hired more sales staff. Higher legal costs also offset the revenue increase.

Shares rose 58 cents, or 7 percent, to close at $8.88. Shares have traded from $4.29 to $9.80 in the past 12 months.