A press release issued by Ruger on May 8, 2018 indicates the legendary gunmaker’s quarterly sales were down from a year ago. It states, “In the first quarter of 2018, net sales decreased 22 percent and earnings per share decreased 33 percent from the first quarter of 2017. The decrease in earnings is attributable to the sales decline and the unfavorable de-leveraging of fixed manufacturing costs due to the decline in production volumes.” Net sales for the quarter were $131.2 million, compared to $167.4 million 12 months ago.
A slow start to the year is partly to blame, according to the release. “The decrease in estimated sell-through of the Company’s products from the independent distributors to retailers is attributable to decreased overall consumer demand in the early stages of the first quarter of 2018, partially offset by increased demand in the latter part of the quarter,” it explains.
The report also provides a rough estimate of overall firearm sales, stating, “For the same periods, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System background checks (as adjusted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation) increased 1 percent.”
Ruger’s one of the leading innovators in the industry, and its freshly minted firearms—as always—remain in high demand. “Sales of new products, including the Pistol Caliber Carbine, the Mark IV pistol, the LCP II pistol, the EC9s pistol, the Security-9 pistol, and the Precision Rimfire Rifle, represented $37.2 million or 29 percent of firearm sales in the first quarter of 2018.”
If you’re in the market for one of the company’s firearms, though, you’re not alone. “During the first quarter of 2018, the Company’s finished goods inventory decreased by 51,900 units and distributor inventories of the Company’s products decreased by 69,000 units,” the press release states.