“Recession-Proof Business Poised for 100% Gains” Motley Fool

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, November 19, 2008

The good folks at Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor newsletter have another teaser for us … they think they’ve got a “virtually recession-proof” stock for you to buy … in their words:

“On Sale Now… a Virtually Recession-Proof Business Poised for 100% Gains…

“An investment story like this doesn’t come along very often…

“It’s a business that is sailing through one of the most difficult financial markets we’ve seen in decades.

“In fact, it’s been able to do what very few businesses can- not only grow its business, but protect its stock value along the way.

“You see, while the S&P has lost more than 30% of its value over the past 6 months – this stock has remained virtually flat.

“What’s even more amazing is that over the past year, as the subprime mess escalated and the economy started unwinding, this stock has jumped more than 65%.

“It’s a point worth repeating… up 65% over the course of one of the most difficult financial markets we’ve seen in decades.”

OK, so they got my attention. What is this?

They do provide a few clues:

“It creates and manufactures cutting-edge surveillance technologies and it’s quickly becoming a niche leader in the security and defense industry…”

And, my favorite clues, some actual numbers:

“Sales have almost tripled since the end of 2003…
“Current backlog orders equal $180 million…
“The company has NO debt…
“During the first 6 months of this year, sales rose 49% year over year…
“The company recently expanded manufacturing operations to keep up with demand.”

Not bad, eh? I think we can rest assured that this isn’t a homebuilder, or yet another Motley Fool teaser ad touting Moody’s or Markel.

We also get that perfect marketing add-on, a quote from a reputable source:

“… as Investor’s Business Daily points out, ‘This company is selling its systems faster than it can make them.'”

And they have been building international business, too — they “played a key role” at the Beijing Olympics, and they’re expanding in Asia and the Middle East.

The final coup de grace: almost 20% of the shares are owned by insiders — which is a big Motley Fool green flag.

The folks at the Motley Fool are calling today’s market the “greatest buying opportunity of our generation,” and they think this is one stock everyone should consider. So what is it?

Well, we take those delightful little clues, crunch them up into little balls, and throw them in the Thinkolator … a few moments on “liquefy,” and I can tell you that this company is …

Axsys Technologies (AXYS)

To be honest, I had never heard of this company before this morning. And aside from having a name that sounds like an extinct bird, it does look like an interesting company to investigate … that IBD article, by the way, is here if you’d like to read up on it, they do give a very good overview of the business. The article came out in