Smith & Wesson Boosts Forecast After Gain in Handgun Sales

Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. posted a gain in quarterly earnings and sales and raised its full-year forecast as heightened concerns over personal safety spur handgun purchases.

The results for the period ended Oct. 31 predated the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California. Based on the public response to mass shootings such as the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, firearm sales may keep rising as enthusiasts stockpile weapons ahead of any push to tighten gun laws.

*Adjusted earnings per share, which excludes some items, were 25 cents for the quarter that ended Oct. 31. The average of eight analysts’ estimates had predicted 21 cents.

*Net sales rose 32 percent to $143.2 million. Analysts had estimated $138.8
million.

*Gross margins, or net sales less costs divided by net sales, was 39.2 percent
compared with 32.1 percent a year earlier.

The gunmaker said earnings for the full year are now expected to be $1.26 to $1.31 a share, higher than the previous forecast of $1.14 to $1.19.

Smith & Wesson had gained 4.7 percent to close at $21.39 in New York on Tuesday before the results were released. The stock fell 1.5 percent in after-market trading.

The shares had increased 16 percent since the day before a Dec. 2 mass shooting in San Bernardino reignited calls for more gun limits. Political efforts for restrictions on ownership have fizzled in the past.

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