- Post 08 September 2012
- By Copy Editor
(Allen Wastler | CNBC.com) -The gun business is booming. The question is, why?
Smith & Wesson stock Friday was zooming, thanks to a stellar earnings report. The firearms maker also boosted its outlook for the rest of the year. Because of the strong business, its backlog of orders more than doubled from the same quarter last year, the company is concentrating on boosting production and building inventory.
“We are underserving the market at this moment, we all know that, and that's a great opportunity going forward for us,” CEO James Debney said in a conference call with analysts.
And another gun maker, Sturm, Ruger & Co., also hit a milestone of sorts in terms of meeting consumer demand. It produced its one-millionth gun of the year…well ahead of last year’s pace.
"It took us nearly all of 2011 to build one million firearms, but in 2012 we accomplished it on August 15th,” said Ruger President and CEO Mike Fifer in a statement.
What’s driving the demand that has gun makers cranking up production?
Speculation has focused on fears of a coming regulatory crackdown on gun ownership. Liberal administrations tend to be anti-gun and so, the thinking goes, an Obama re-election would set the stage for stricter gun purchasing requirements. Hence, people are buying now in anticipation of difficulty later.
Indeed, looking at background checks for gun sales (a metric commonly used to gauge general industry performance) 2009 showed a measureable increase that many attributed to Obama’s election. ... continues...