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Amid Gun Sale Slowdown, How Should You Play Sturm, Ruger?

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Amid Gun Sale Slowdown, How Should You Play Sturm, Ruger?

Now may be the time for Sturm, Ruger & Company (NYSE: RGR) to take advantage of the stock’s 7.8 percent gain this year and lock in some profits. BB&T analyst Brian Ruttenbur has downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold and sees a cyclical downturn ahead for gun makers.

While BB&T sees tough times ahead for gun makers, Ruttenbur noted that the firm is choosing a Hold rating rather than a Sell rating because he still sees Sturm, Ruger & Co as the best name in the business.

“We believe the company has the strongest financial structure in the industry and can weather the downturn with a solid balance sheet (over $80 million in cash) and strong free cash flow (expected at $96 million in 2016 and $73 million in 2017),” Ruttenbur explained.

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The company’s strong financial positioning is one of the main reasons why BB&T sees Sturm, Ruger & Co as well-positioned to repeat the market share gains it achieved during the last cyclical downturn in the gun industry.

Last week, the NICS data for the month of May was up only 2.6 percent year-over-year. Last year, NICS growth was up more than 10 percent in June and 15 percent in July, which makes for some extremely difficult upcoming comps.

BB&T has also lowered its 2016 revenue estimates from $643.9 million to $622.8 million and its 2016 EPS estimates from $4.21 to $3.78.

Disclosure: The author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.

Latest Ratings for RGR

DateFirmActionFromTo
Aug 2017Aegis CapitalInitiates Coverage OnBuy
Mar 2017WunderlichInitiates Coverage OnHold
Jun 2016BB&T CapitalDowngradesBuyHold

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