Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., one of the worlds's most well-known manufacturers of firearms had a net income of $14.2 million in the third quarter (it is the second quarter of 2016 fiscal year in the US), according to the company's financial statements. During the same period of 2014 Smith & Wesson (S&W) earned 5.2 million. Sales increased by 32.1%, bringing $143 million in revenue. After the announcement of the quarterly financial results, its stock price increased by 4.65%.
Despite the approach of the holiday season, S&W cash flow also showed positive dynamics. "In the first half of the 2016 fiscal year, we generated $22.8 million in operating cash flow and $8.6 million in free cash flow. Our balance sheet remains healthy" Executive Director of S&W James Debney said at the press conference.
Experts are divergent in explaining the reasons that forced Americans to buy guns. Most likely, there are several reasons for that as usual. Those could be equally concerned about the country's growing crime rates, a desire to feel more or less secure in the face of terrorist threats, and an anxiety that the government will introduce restrictions on the acquisition and possession of firearms, and much more. "The main driver of massive firearms sales is fear,” Brian Ruttenbur, an analyst at BB&T Capital Markets, told Bloomberg, "primarily fear of the limits of the registration laws, federal assault weapons ban, and so on."
The United States ranks number one in firearms per capita. Four years ago, the Small Arms Survey estimated there were 89 weapons per every 100 people. All in all, as you can easily calculate, in 2011 civilian gun ownership in the US was at 270 million, which accounts for about 40 percent of the planet's civilian firearms. The National Rifle Association (NRA) statistics are more accurate. It claims that there are roughly 300 million firearms owned in the past year, and these numbers increase by 10 million every year.
It is important to understand that these statistics include only legally purchased weapons. For example, back in 2013 Americans owned approximately 350 million firearms in private hands, according to the Washington Post. By the way, the United States population does not exceed 322 million people.
Another fact: the shooting in San Bernardino is the deadliest shooting in the US for the past three years, and has become the 352nd mass shooting in the US in 336 days.
After each mass shooting, including the latest San Bernardino attack which took lives of 14 people in California was no exception, President Obama claims that the authorities should make it harder for a potential killer to acquire weapons. However, many demands to stricter gun laws face tough resistance of weapons manufacturers and a very powerful gun lobby.