Smith & Wesson booked record sales as gun debate raged

June 13, 2013: 6:35 PM ET
smith wesson sales increase
Smith & Wesson reported record quarterly and full-year results in an early announcement Thursday.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

The past 12 months have been bad for gun violence, but good for Smith & Wesson.

The gun maker reported preliminary results Thursday showing that sales for the fiscal year ended April 30 hit a record $588 million, a 43% increase versus the year prior. Earnings were a record $1.22 a share, up from 40 cents a share in the prior fiscal year.

Both figures came in slightly ahead of analyst expectations. Smith & Wesson (SWHC)shares rose 5.3% in after-hours trading.

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The gun industry saw a spike in demand from consumers fearing that the national debate over gun control would yield new regulations limiting their ability to buy certain firearms.

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The trend began with President Obama's reelection and accelerated in the months after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults in December in Newtown, Conn. It may now be on the wane after the U.S. Senate failed to pass gun-control legislation in April that would have expanded background checks and banned some semi-automatic weapons.

Smith & Wesson's preliminary figures showed sales in its most recent quarter rose 38% versus a year prior to $179 million, also a record. The company will report its full fiscal year and fourth-quarter results on June 25.

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