We have a tale of two gun stories today. Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: SWHC) is surging on news from the company that gun sales are running even stronger than expected. The gun maker issued upside guidance but apparently the theory is that it must be at the expense of Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. (NYSE: RGR).
Smith & Wesson now sees its April quarter sales around $129 million versus the consensus of $119.8 million and versus its prior range of $113 million to $118 million.
The company’s preliminary firearm order backlog increased to about $439 million, up about 135% versus a year ago and up about 121% sequentially. Ongoing strength in pistols and modern sporting rifles helped, as did a successful product launch.
No one wants to admit it this, but it seems as though gun demand may be running cyclical around election cycles as well. Smith & Wesson shares are up over 5% at $6.59 versus a 52-week range of $2.29 to $8.62; Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is down by over 5% at $40.13. The difference between the two companies in size is that Smith Wesson is worth $428 million and Sturm Ruger is worth $768 million in market cap.
Alliant Techsystems Inc. (NYSE: ATK) has other operations tied to defense and space launches, but it is the leader in bullet manufacturing. The group’s products include brands such as Federal Premium, CCI, Speer, RCBS, Alliant Powder, Champion, Weaver, Eagle Industries, and Blackhawk! Industries. Alliant’s shares are up only 0.1% at $51.83 today and the 52-week range is $48.00 to $72.84.
Dirty Harry… “Well, we’re not going to just let you walk out of here.” Who’s We? “Smith, Wesson and me”
JON C. OGG