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Smith & Wesson profits, shares shoot up in the wake of San Bernardino attack

Gun-maker Smith & Wesson announced a strong quarter on a shareholder call that continues an upward trend. The surge in sales comes despite violent incidents such as the San Bernardino shooting in the US.

Smith & Wesson announced its results for the second fiscal quarter of 2015 on Tuesday and gave shareholders plenty to be happy about: the American gun-maker's net sales increased by nearly a third year-on-year, with a total of $143 million (131 million euro) in revenue.

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The announcement prompted Smith & Wesson to raise its outlook for the rest of the fiscal year.

According to Reuters news agency, Smith & Wesson has seen its shares climb by 428 percent in the past five years, far exceeding the S&P 500's 68-percent rise over the same period. This year alone, Smith & Wesson saw their shares' value increase by 126 percent. Stock for Sturm Ruger and Co, another US firearms manufacturer, has risen 67 percent in the same period.

American firearms manufacturers appear to be bulletproof in terms of their sales despite gun violence in the US. In the days since last week's mass shooting in San Bernardino that saw 14 people killed by apparent radicalized Islamists, Smith & Wesson's stock has risen by 17 percent.

It's a trend that has previously been observed in the wake of other mass shootings. While some Americans purchase firearms in the wake of mass shootings out of a heightened sense of their own security, others fear that each major incident pushes lawmakers toward passing laws that could place restriction on gun ownership. As a result, the theory goes, Americans stock up while they still can.

While last week's mass shooting is considered the worst since the attacks on Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 that claimed the lives of 20 young children and six staff members, in 2015 the US has seen an average of one daily incident of gun violence that wounded four or more people.

mz/msh (Reuters)

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