Taylor Devices soars after Asian quake
Demand for its earthquake protection equipment seen
By Mark Cotton, CBS.MarketWatch.com
Last Update: 1:10 PM ET Dec. 27, 2004
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NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- Shares of Taylor Devices Inc. doubled in value Monday as investors anticipated a surge in demand for the company's earthquake protection technology following the weekend disaster in South and Southeast Asia.
An earthquake off the coast of Indonesia unleashed a series of tidal waves, causing extensive loss of life and widespread damage, notably in Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Malaysia. See full story.
Taylor Devices (TAYD: news, chart, profile) soared on the news, and the stock was last trading up $2.52, or 102 percent, at $5, just off its high for the session of $5.07.
"We're anticipating an upsurge in demand from the countries which were affected by the earthquake," Douglas Taylor, the company's chief executive officer, told CBS MarketWatch.
The North Tonawanda, N.Y.-based company makes fluid viscous dampers that protect buildings, bridges, towers and elevated freeways by absorbing the shockwaves produced by an earthquake.
"The basic technology that we offer is old Cold War-era technology that was used to protect ballistic-missile silos against Russian attack," said Taylor.
"When the Cold War ended, we got a release from the U.S. government to take the technology, declassify it and sell it to the public."
Taylor said his company has been working in Southeast Asia, mainly in Taiwan, which has a strict seismic code similar to the one that exists in the United States.
"Unfortunately, the rest of Asia, including Japan, has not had their seismic code enhanced to reflect the possibility of the events we've just witnessed," Taylor said.
He said this weekend's disaster may spur countries in the region to enforce a stricter code protecting buildings against earthquakes.
"If you elevate your code to require protection against larger and larger earthquakes, a market is definitely being made for our type of product, either retrofitted to an existing building or ... incorporated into a new construction," said Taylor.
The company said that its dampers can be found on more than 130 buildings and bridges worldwide.
Apart from seismic-protection products, Taylor Devices makes shock absorbers and isolators, hydropneumatic springs, and vibration isolators.
The company swung to a profit in its first fiscal quarter, which ended Aug. 31, reporting earnings of $73,649, or 2 cents a share, compared with a loss of $201,129, or 7 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Sales, however, slipped to $2.5 million from $3 million.