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Sturm Ruger Falls After Quarterly Profit Misses Estimates

Sturm, Ruger & Co. shares fell the most in more than a year after the largest publicly traded U.S. firearms maker reported quarterly earnings that missed analysts’ estimates for the first time since 2009.

The shares fell 7.9 percent to $62.99 at the close in New York, the biggest decline since December 2012.

Per-share profit in the fourth quarter rose to $1.33 from $1 a year earlier, the Southport, Connecticut-based company said yesterday. That trailed the $1.38 average estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey and put an end to 16 quarters of beating analysts’ estimates.

While enthusiasts have been stockpiling guns amid concern that President Barack Obama’s administration would seek tighter firearm regulations, Congress hasn’t curbed access and Sturm Ruger’s fourth-quarter orders fell.

“I think the fervor that we saw peaking in April 2013 has certainly been dialed back,” said Brian Rafn, director of research at Milwaukee-based Morgan Dempsey Capital Management, a shareholder of Sturm Ruger for about 27 years.

Orders during this year’s gun show season are down from last year when uncertainty and fear of regulation drove larger purchases, said Chief Executive Officer Michael Fifer on a conference call today. This year’s orders are more realistic and shippable, he said.

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