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Smith & Wesson gun sales boosted by Black Friday, female shooters

A Smith & Wesson Lady Smith pistol.
A Smith & Wesson Lady Smith pistol.
(Scott Olson / Getty Images)

Gun maker Smith & Wesson had a strong second quarter as the consumer firearms market continues to grow, the company said this week.

The Springfield, Mass., manufacturer said Thursday afternoon that it earned $21.2 million in profit, or 31 cents a share during the quarter ended Oct. 31. In the same period a year earlier, the company reported a loss of $1.6 million, or 2 cents a share.

Revenue soared 48% to $136.6 million, from $92.3 million.

The company’s stock fluctuated in morning trading, swinging up to $11.25 a share -- a 3.7% surge -- before slumping down 7.7% to $10.01 a share.

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In a Thursday conference call, Chief Executive James Debney said the company was riding the industry’s “extraordinary growth in recent years,” which is caused in part by “an expanded and diverse consumer base.”

That includes more female gun enthusiasts, he said. To attract them, Smith & Wesson became a major backer of the NRA Women’s Network.

The company also attributed its growth to new innovations and expanded production capacity.

Analysts are expecting another sales boost this quarter.

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On Black Friday, background checks of Smith & Wesson buyers at retail outlets hit an all-time peak, Debney said. The next Saturday was one of the top 10 days in the company’s history, and November’s 38.5% increase in checks was the highest monthly rise ever.

“These data points, among others, suggest to us that firearms have now taken that place in the basket of mainstream durable goods that consumers want to buy on Black Friday,” Debney said.

Next year: a rifle with your severely discounted flat-screen television?

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