Napco Helps Keep the Homeland Safe

With homeland security much in the news, Napco Security Systems (NSSC ) has seen its shares shoot from 6 in June to 9.80 on Nov. 26. Napco makes electronic locks and fire and burglar alarms. The stock's rise reflects a sharp jump in earnings: In fiscal 2002 ended June 30, profits hit 38 cents a share, up from 2001's 7 cents, although sales rose only slightly, from $54 million to $55.8 million. No major Street firm covers Napco, but Arsen Mrakovcic of Larchmont Capital, which has a sizable stake, says that, in two years, Napco could earn $1.25 a share on sales of $85 million. He says the stock should hit 20 in a year. Mrakovcic calls Napco an undiscovered value-growth play, trading at book value of 10 a share. Insiders own big stakes--CEO Richard Soloway holds 30%. Customers include the IRS, FBI, airports in New York and New Jersey, and Caesars Palace.

By Gene Marcial

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