Smith & Wesson beats estimates as handgun sales soar

Smith & Wesson Holdings Corp <SWHC.O> reported better-than-expected second-quarter results as sales of handguns increased in the wake of a fresh push for gun control by U.S. President Barack Obama.

The company, whose shares rose 6 percent in extended trading, also forecast current-quarter earnings above analyst estimates.

Obama urged supporters in September to pursue gun-control measures after mass shootings in Washington and Chicago put the spotlight back onto the problem of gun violence.

Smith & Wesson said on Tuesday it expects to earn 28 to 30 cents per share in the third quarter. Analysts on average were expecting 27 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Income from continuing operations rose to $17.1 million, or 28 cents per share, for the second quarter ended October 31 from $16.4 million, or 24 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $139.3 million.

Sales of handguns, including the M&P pistols, rose 27.4 percent.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 21 cents per share on revenue of $137.5 million.

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