This Gun Maker Is Seeing Sales Spike

(Bloomberg) -- The firearms manufacturer formerly known as Smith & Wesson surged after reporting quarterly results that beat analysts’ expectations, bolstered by the sales of long guns like sporting rifles.

Shares of American Outdoor Brands Corp. rose as much as 14 percent to $13.92 in late trading in New York. They had fallen 4.9 percent this year through Thursday’s close.

The company said net sales rose 8.9 percent in the second quarter of fiscal 2019 versus the same period in the prior year, the company said in a statement. Analysts were expecting a gain of 3.9 percent on average.

Handgun net sales rose 5.2 percent, while long guns were up 20.2 percent, the company said in a separate filing. Long guns include modern sporting rifles, a category that includes the AR-15. Those firearms are generally more profitable than handguns, Bloomberg News reported earlier this year. American Outdoor said it has increased its market share in that category.

The results come after a slightly disappointing start to the holiday shopping season for the firearms industry. Unlike last year, Black Friday wasn’t a record-setting day for gun sales. Industry lobbyists attributed the decline in sales to promotions beginning prior to the post-Thanksgiving shopping holiday.

There is no exact count of firearms sold in the U.S., but a common barometer is the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. James Debney, American Outdoor’s chief executive officer, said on a call with analysts that he was encouraged by Black Friday’s checks, though they were lower than in 2017.

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