U.S. Markets open in 32 mins

Gun maker Sturm Ruger reports higher sales, profit

SOUTHPORT, Conn. (AP) -- Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. said Wednesday that second-quarter profit soared 79 percent on higher sales. The company's shares, which had already nearly doubled this year, climbed again in after-hours trading.

The gun maker credited the "current political environment" for creating strong demand for guns. President Barack Obama and some lawmakers called for tougher gun laws after a shooting in December left 20 children dead at a school in Newtown, Conn. A proposal to expand background checks failed in the Senate.

New guns were also a big factor for Strum, Ruger's profits. Models such as the LC380 and SR45 pistols, which were introduced earlier this year, accounted for nearly one-third of sales.

Net income rose to $32.3 million, or $1.63 per share, compared with $18 million, or 91 cents per share a year earlier.

Revenue grew 50 percent to $179.5 million.

In a regulatory filing, the company said that 525,600 guns were ordered in the quarter, up from 291,000 in the same period last year. The average sales price was $306, up from $280 a year ago.

The company also said that a severe thunderstorm last Thursday caused part of the roof to collapse at its manufacturing plant in Prescott, Ariz. Flooding shut down production.

The company said repairs were done over the weekend, and production resumed on Monday. Sturm Ruger expects the cost of repairs and lost production to be less than $5 million.

Sturm Ruger announced this month that it would build a third manufacturing plant in North Carolina, its first major expansion in more than 25 years.

Shares of Sturm Ruger rose $1.54, or 3.1 percent to close at $50.87. After the second-quarter report was released, they were up another $3.58, or 7 percent, to $54.45 in after-hours trading.