“The Only Vehicle that’s Safe in Iraq”

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, March 22, 2007

[corrected to fix silly errors that were noted in the comments, sorry. I kept the comments so you can see what a flake I am on occasion]

A reader sent this one in a little while ago, but it’s a bit dated — from a New America Investor newsletter ad from Brian Hicks at the end of last year …

Here’s the intro:

“Everybody wants these vehicles. The British ordered 85 over the summer. The Iraqi Army put in an order for more than 300. And last Friday the US Marines signed a $214 million contract for an additional 280.”

Investors who have held since January of last year have enjoyed “1289% returns”

The shares are priced at 11.50 (four months ago), but the author says he “won’t sell until it hits $32” (If you care about this one, don’t worry, that’s still a double from here even though you missed the ad in November).

I think the strongest sell lines are these: “Discover how America’s IED solution could put an extra $41,120 in your pocket before next Thanksgiving”

and …

“I’m talking about a return of 412% in as little as 11 months”

So this is definitely a hard sell … if only you’ll subscribe to New America Investor, you can find out about this company that’s going to quadruple “overnight”

Or you can just check in with your favorite Stock Gumshoe … who will tell you that the key product they’re talking about is absolutely the Buffalo, a wacky looking mack truck of a thing that clears mines and is heavily armored. The company also produces the Cheetah, which is (did you guess?) a faster heavily armored car, as well as some other related war vehicles.

And the orders are indeed through the roof of late … which is why the price has already just about tripled from last September or so.

So that’s really enough to find it yourself, but I’ll save you the effort — the company is Force Protection (FRPT).

And they’ve been a stock market darling — they really have gone up more than a thousand percent in a bit over a year, and business appears to be pretty spectacular, with orders popping up all over the place for this relatively new product. And who doesn’t see the appeal of better armored vehicles and mine clearance vehicles for Iraq? To put a little cherry on top, they also just recently moved to the NASDAQ (in January), so that provides a little broader market for the company.

So it’s not a crazy stock, but it is a pretty expensive one … and it is a company that has experienced wild growth, so who knows how they’ll hold up. I don’t know if it will be a good investment, though I can pretty much promise it won’t be as good this year as it was last year …. and I know that you don’t have to spend your hard earned cash on a newsletter subscription just to find out the name when your favorite Stock Gumshoe is around.