U.S. Markets closed

Raymond James Upgrades Axon Enterprise Amid Continued Business Shift

Jayson Derrick

Axon Enterprise Inc (NASDAQ: AAXN) continues to shift its business away from a hardware and weapons company towards a cloud-based subscription model and the story is underappreciated by the Street, according to Raymond James.

The Analyst

Raymond James' Brian Gesuale upgraded Axon Enterprise from Outperform to Strong Buy with an unchanged $79 price target.

The Thesis

Axon's evolution has resulted in "considerable success" so far with software revenue sales growing from 2 percent of total sales in 2014 to around 20 percent in 2018, Gesuale said in the upgrade note. The "new and improved" software business is trading at a similar price-to-sales multiple as its Taser business did before changing the company name.

A sum-of-the-parts valuation model might be best to better analyze Axon's stock and the company should be broken into three lines of revenue: 1Axon Cloud, Taser hardware (weapons, body cameras) and connected sensors.

Gesuale says this type of model can better assign more appropriate multiples to different business lines, such as the cloud business at 9.5 times sales which is similar to other recurring software subscription businesses. The hardware business would be valued at 5.5 times, while sensors are assigned a lower multiple of one to two times sales.

The research firm's model assigns a 2021 enterprise value of $2.057 billion for the Taser business, $164 million for the sensors business and $3.53 billion for the cloud business. Applying a 3-percent discount rate generates a discounted 2021 SOTP price of $100 per share, or around 76 percent upside from current levels.

Price Action

Shares of Axon Enterprise were trading higher by 4.6 percent to $60.41 at time of publication.

Related Links:

Axon's New Compensation Plan Lets Employees Bet On Taser Maker's Future

Why Axon Shares Got A Shock After The Q3 Print

Photo courtesy of Axon.

Latest Ratings for AAXN

Date Firm Action From To
Apr 2019 Raymond James Upgrades Outperform Strong Buy
Jan 2019 Morgan Stanley Maintains Overweight Overweight
Nov 2018 Baird Upgrades Neutral Outperform

View More Analyst Ratings for AAXN
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

See more from Benzinga

© 2019 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.