In this file photo, assault weapons and hand guns are seen for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply in Springfield, Ill.(Photo: By Seth Perlman, AP)
(USA TODAY) -- Gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson jumped 18% in early Wednesday
trading, a day after reporting sharply higher earnings and bright sales
Shares are up $2.16 to $13.96. The Springfield, Mass.-
based maker of handguns and semi-automatic rifles bucked forecasts of
slower industry growth, posting third-quarter sales of $146 million, up
7% and a 42% rise in earnings from the year-ago quarter.
James Debney says sales and earnings for the handgun and rifle maker's
2014 fiscal year, which ends April 30, will be higher than Wall Street
Investors bailed on Smith & Wesson last month after
rival Sturm, Ruger posted fourth-quarter sales below Wall Street
expectations and said 2013 sales fell 20% from 2012.
Wesson has about 17% of the $2 billion U.S. handgun market and a 7%
share of the $2.1 billion "long gun" market, according to company
Sturm, Ruger is up about 3% to $65.30,
sales of guns and ammunition soared following the 2012 movie theater
massacre in suburban Denver and school shootings at Sandy Hook
Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., largely on fears of tighter gun
Both Sturm and Smith & Wesson say they plan
to stop selling most new handguns in California, which now requires
semi-automatic weapons to have serial numbers stamped in gun chambers so
bullets can be easily traced by law enforcement.