Despite President-elect Donald Trump's Nov. 8 victory, investors held high hopes for Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (SWHC) ahead of its second quarter earnings release, scheduled for Thursday after market close.
A majority of analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research advised investors to buy shares of the Springfield, Massachusetts-based company and forecasted second quarter earnings per share of 55 cents, more than double last year’s 25 cents per share. In last quarter’s earnings release, Smith & Wesson reported that sales had grown more than 40 percent over the past year, while profits more than doubled.
In a September news release, Smith & Wesson chief executive James Debney attributed the sales boost to Along with the company’s acquisitions of outdoor products and accessories makers Taylor Brands and Crimson Trace. He also referenced “strong consumer demand as reflected in adjusted background checks” under the FBI’s system of determining whether someone is eligible to buy a firearm.
But, as Wall Street Journal columnist Steve Russolillo noted, gun sales tend to surge in the lead-up to the likely election of candidates with strict stances on gun control.
The steady climb of Smith & Wesson’s share price in the weeks before Nov. 8 was met with a sharp 25 percent drop after Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s loss to Trump. The stock has since risen and plateaued around $24 — still below its pre-Election Day value of nearly $28.
But despite Trump’s win and his stated view of the Second Amendment as “America’s first freedom" — a stance that usually reduces immediate demand for firearms — gun sales haven’t exactly slowed since the election.
On Black Friday, the FBI’s National Criminal Background Check System processed a record number of transactions, with 185,713 seeking gun purchase certification, ahead of last year’s 185,345.
And holiday shoppers weren’t alone in stocking up on weapons after Trump’s victory. As NBC News reported, some gun store owners have seen an uptick in sales to minorities harboring fears of hate crimes under the new president-elect, who made numerous inflammatory remarks over the course of his campaign, incited violence at his rallies, suggested that “Second Amendment people” eliminate his opponent and has appointed a chief strategist widely considered to be a white supremacist.
People of color “feel that racists now feel like they can attack… just because the president is doing it,” Virginia-based gun shop owner Earl Curtis told NBC News.
Going forward, looser weapons regulations means easier access, which could translate to increased sales — and more revenue — for Smith & Wesson. As Stockton University public policy analyst and finance professor Michael Busler told The Street: “Anything that makes the purchase of guns easier is going to benefit a manufacturer of guns.”