Gun Buying Frenzy Over

MSN Money reports that Smith & Wesson’s share price took a 10% hit after sales were below Wall Street exceptions …

But its weaker-than-expected​ forecast and news that the nation’s recent gun-buying frenzy appears to be over took their toll on the company’s share price Friday, knocking it down more than 10% to $10.31.

On Thursday, Smith & Wesson reported its first-quarter net sales were $171 million, up nearly 26% compared with fiscal first-quarter 2013. Income was $26.5 million, or 40 cents per share, compared to $18.9 million, or 28 cents a share, a year ago.

“Ongoing increases in our manufacturing capacity, combined with strong consumer demand for firearms, resulted in increased market share and higher sales,” president and CEO James Debney said in the press statement.

But where Smith & Wesson misfired, at least in Wall Street’s eyes, was in its outlook. It estimates net sales for fiscal second-quarter 2014 at between $135 million and $140 million, with earnings per share at somewhere between 20 cents and 22 cents. While the full-year forecast jibed with expectations, Barron’s reports analysts were looking for the company to predict 29 cents per share with $143 million in sales for coming quarter.

Retailers, manufacturers and OEM supplies are all telling me the same thing: sales are still  strong, but we are long past the frenzy we saw late last year and earlier this year.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Michael

    But ammo sales are still crazy

    • JT

      I wouldn’t be surprised if people bought guns just so that they could shoot the ammunition the stores still had left. Last time I checked my Walmart the only thing they had was 12ga and 30-06, literally that was all they had.

      • Anonymoose

        My local Dick’s had that and .270 (my Walmart doesn’t carry anything firearms-related except BB guns).

      • Klingon00

        I’ve been sorely tempted to pick up something in .40 since that’s the only pistol caliber readily available in stores around me. Good thing I reload though. It’s been the one thing that’s kept me shooting through all this.

        • Tim U

          I have one .40 pistol and thought about picking up another for just such a reason. Handgun ammunition is rare here, but generally the calibers I can find 50% of the time or more are .40 and .380 (the .380 only in bulk packs though). Finding .45 is about a 10-15% occurrence, and 9mm is a 5% or less for me.

    • M.M.D.C.

      Ammo is SCARCE in Charleston and Berkeley counties South Carolina. It’s depressing. Now, when I see a gun I want I think “what’s the point, I can’t feed it.”

    • Christina Leah

      What you said! Net gain of zero!

  • JT

    does this mean that people are going to stop buying plastic, wood, styrofoam 80% lowers for $200 because “They’re gunna ban mah gunnz”

  • Tim U

    Everyone stopped buying guns because they can’t feed them anyway, so what’s the point?

    In my area, the only thing you are guaranteed to find on a trip to the store is 12 gauge. All other bets are off. Most hunting calibers (.30-06, .270, .243, etc) are usually OK, and 7.62×39 is starting to make a come back. But forget about finding handgun ammo or the NATO rifle calibers. Not unless you walk in on them restocking the shelf. .22 LR is a myth, it never existed except for in some person’s dream.

    • gjm75

      Where are you located? Walmart is still bare, but sporting goods stores have most calibers and gun stores are packed with cases of everything….. but 22.

      • Tim U

        Twin Cities MN area. The issue is pretty universal regardless of store I’ve been to.


          Twin cities resident too, if you really really got to have it, Bills gum shop in robinsdale usually has just about everything. At least when I’ve been there

  • Lance

    The frenzy is over due to the failure of the gun banners in the Senate last April.

  • 032125

    Gun Buying Frenzy Over…For Now.

    There will be subsequent volleys fired, and there will be corresponding reactions. The war ain’t over, but it’s nice to see a lull in the fighting.

  • DanTSX

    Perhaps it isn’t the case that S&W couldn’t sell their products, but rather that they expected to produce more product while expecting to sell everything they make.

  • DanTSX

    This also might be a smart move in S&W’s part to not over-state their expectations with overblown projected commitments like Ruger’s Q2 backlog of $590M, Stag’s 2 year backlog, Armalite etc. In the case of the public companies like S&W and Ruger, you have to be careful how you state your expected income.

  • Mark N.

    It is about to start up again in California–where the effects of the last buying surge have just started to wane, with many models scarce or unobtainable–because of the rash of bills passed by the Legislature in the last couple of days. If the governor signs these bills, there will be a huge surge that will suddenly end on January 1, 2014 when the new laws take effect, among them a ban on the sale of any semiautomatic rifle with a detachable magazine, and an elimination that permitted civilians a method of obtaining off roster (“unsafe”) firearms.

  • PatrickHenry1789

    I don’t think it’s over. Slowed down a bit maybe, but not over.

  • tincankilla

    crossing my fingers and waiting for manufacturing overcapacity….

  • Agitator

    After the shooting in the Navy Yard this morning, this headline might appear tragically premature…

  • Joseph B Campbell

    Just because someones stocks fall or they have a recall is not an indicator the whole industry is kaput. That is wishful thinking. It seems someone is trying to start a panic to move the stocks so they can make more money on the market fluctuating. If you bought a gun, ammunition is coming available again. Get out and shot. Take a class and learn it right. If you bought stock, find an agent you can trust.

  • Sulaco

    Ammo is mostly back in WA but the stocks of guns held by sellers is still sky high because they are desperate to get their money back that they put into them during the panic. Sorry not feeling very sorry for them at all!