Security Firms See Long-Awaited Windfall

With the U.S. government issuing new terror warnings and Senate passage of the homeland security bill, small companies providing screening systems and other specialized protection services are poised for the windfall they've anticipated ever since Sept. 11, 2001.

Airport security firms have already benefited, but money is beginning to filter down now to other parts of the industry. It's been a long time coming, some say.

"It's been a very frustrating year," said Marty Roenigk, chief executive of CompuDyne Corp., whose Attack Protection unit outfits federal and commercial buildings with blast-resistant windows and doors.

Last Wednesday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation to create a Department of Homeland Security, freeing the bill from a dispute over worker protection.

Still, analysts warn that it may be months or years before any benefits of the new $37 billion department, which combines 22 existing federal agencies under one roof, are disbursed.

Investors are taking a wait-and-see approach to the sector, perhaps chastened by the rush into these stocks last fall. When trading resumed on Sept. 17 last year, security stocks shot up. But they soon lost many of those gains as investors failed to see an immediate infusion of cash into the companies.

News source: Reuters - Security Firms See Long-Awaited Windfall

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