Friday, February 24, 2006

Port Brouhaha A Positive For These Stocks

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Whether or not Congress lets a Dubai, U.A.E., company take over management of several U.S. port terminals, the deal has stirred up interest in cargo security. That may mean good news for companies selling technology and services related to inspecting cargo.

Supporters and critics of the deal can debate its merits, but few dispute that cargo inspection systems need a good deal of improvement. A report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office last May bemoaned the lack of even minimum technical standards for nonintrusive inspection equipment. "The cargo and vehicle inspection systems market is still in its infancy," read a line from the most recent annual report filed by OSI Systems, which sells inspection equipment.

In the accompanying table, we've pulled together a few stocks in this field. Several of them are small-caps, such as American Science & Engineering. The Billerica, Mass., company sells X-ray inspection systems, such as CargoSearch, which scans trucks and containers for drugs and weapons.

Full story at