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Smith & Wesson says fourth-quarter earnings may beat expectations

June 14, 2013|By Shan Li
  • Smith & Wesson said its fourth-quarter results may exceed Wall Street expectations. Above, a Smith & Wesson display at the National Rifle Assn.'s annual meeting in Houston in May.
Smith & Wesson said its fourth-quarter results may exceed Wall Street… (Justin Sullivan / Getty…)

Firearm maker Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. said its fiscal fourth-quarter results may exceed Wall Street expectations as Americans continued to buy weapons amid a countrywide debate over gun control.

Preliminary data for the three months ended April 30 showed that sales jumped 38% to $179 million compared with the same period last year, the Springfield, Mass., company said. Earnings from continuing operations are expected to be 44 cents a share, up from 27 cents in the previous year.

Results for the full 2013 fiscal year were also bright for the gunmaker. Sales climbed 43% to a record $588 million for the year.

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The annual earnings span a period in which a December mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that left 20 children dead elevated the national conversation on firearm restrictions.

In response, some gun advocates have rushed to buy firearms in anticipation of tighter laws controlling the sale of guns and ammunition. Many firearm makers, including Smith & Wesson, have reported a surge in sales in recent months.

That sales bump may now wane somewhat, analysts say, after the U.S. Senate failed in April to pass legislation that would have banned some semi-automatic weapons and expanded background checks for buyers.

Smith & Wesson also announced plans this week to buy back up to $100 million worth of its stock, which would reduce the number of the company's shares outstanding by about 15%.

Official fourth-quarter and annual earnings are expected to be reported June 25.

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Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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