By Tiffany Hsu
11:14 AM PST, December 27, 2012
Firearms maker Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. said it will buy back an additional $15 million of its stock as gun control talk swirls in the aftermath of the massacre at a Connecticut elementary school.
The company said it has already completed a $20-million stock buyback announced Dec. 6, before Adam Lanza rampaged through the Newtown school, leaving six adults and 20 children dead. Lanza also killed himself and his mother.
Now, the company said its board has authorized an extra $15 million in repurchases through June 30.
The tragedy has had a mixed impact on the gun industry. Firearms producer Sturm, Ruger & Co. is down 10% since the shooting.
Smith & Wesson stock has slumped more than 16% over the period, though on Thursday it was up as much as 5% to $8.35 a share, largely because of the board’s optimistic move. The repurchasing program will be funded using cash on hand and working capital, according to the company.
After the rampage, gun enthusiasts rushed out to buy firearms, many voicing concerns that stricter gun control measures may be coming down the pike.
Some retailers, including Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Wal-Mart, removed guns and weapons information from some of their stores and websites. Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management is selling Freedom Group, which owns the Bushmaster brand of rifles used in the assault on Sandy Hook Elementary School.
But at Brownells Inc. demand has been “unprecedented.” The company, which claims to be the largest firearms accessories supplier in the world, said demand caused it to sell 3 ½ years worth of ammunition magazines in three days.
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