Disclaimer: This post is not about politics, it is about how the election cycle is going to effect the gun industry, and consumers, over the next 12 months.
Yesterday, both the Smith & Wesson (SWHC, 2yr chart above) and Ruger (RGR, 2yr chart below) shares were at 52 weeks highs. Just a few months ago firearm component suppliers were still telling me that sales were very slow (and so presumably the firearms these components were used in).
It is my hope the investor confidence in SWHC and RGR reflect that they anticipate solid, sustainable growth…. but I suspect it is that investors are anticipating a gun buying panic and so are investing early.
The third major listed firearm manufacturer, Vista Outdoor Inc. (VSTO, maker of Savage, CCI, Federal, Bushnell) was spun off earlier this year from ATI and so we don’t have any history to compare its performance with.
Smith & Wesson is now trading higher than it has been in the past five years. It was, in fact, only slightly higher ($21.38) in October 2008, just before Obama’s election the following month (and so at the height of the 2008/09 gun buying panic).
What do you think? Is the industry recovering from recent poor sales since the last panic, or will gun stores be empty this time next year? Sound off in the poll below …