Sturm Ruger (RGR), which booked a large increase in sales during the holiday quarter, said the presidential election will drive gun demand in 2016.
During a conference call with analysts, Ruger CEO Michael Fifer said the gun maker is telling independent distributors to prepare for an increase in consumer demand before and after the November election.
“We’ve actually encouraged our wholesalers that this summer, anticipating a little bit of a normal seasonal slowdown in the summer, regardless of the politics, that this is the big opportunity to take advantage of the upcoming election,” Fifer said in response to an analyst’s question about inventory. “It really is a big opportunity for them. The day after the election, it’s too late” for wholesalers to add inventory, he added.
Washington politics are known to be a catalyst for gun sales. When lawmakers pushed for new gun control measures in 2013, the FBI reported a record number of background checks completed during the year.
Ruger said Thursday its fourth-quarter revenue climbed 24% to $152.4 million, and the company swung to a profit of $17.1 million. Per-share earnings of 88 cents easily beat Wall Street’s estimate of 75 cents, while revenue matched projections.
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