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Smith & Wesson expect gun sales to slide

An attendee walks through the Smith & Wesson

An attendee walks through the Smith & Wesson booth at the Brown Convention Center in Houston on May 3, 2013. Credit: Getty Images

Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., the second-largest publicly traded firearms maker, tumbled after giving a profit and sales forecast for fiscal 2015 that was lower than some analysts were estimating.

The company said it expects earnings per share from continuing operations in the year ending April 30 of $1.30 to $1.40, less than the $1.50 average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg. Sales are projected to be $585 million to $600 million, the company said in a statement, less than the $621 million analysts were estimating.

The shares fell as much as 17 percent to $14.10 in extended trading after the company released its results. They had gained 26 percent this year through today.

Smith & Wesson, based in Springfield, Massachusetts, said that about one week of the company's annual two-week shutdown will occur in the first quarter, reducing production by about $6 million to $8 million.

The outlook also comes as the number of background checks carried out on people seeking to buy firearms declined in February, March and April, from the year earlier period, according to figures from the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

"It has been a rough period at times in terms of NICS data year over the year as a result of rifles, though the company is growing hand gun sales," said Brian Ruttenbur, an analyst at CRT Capital Group, before the results were released.

In the fiscal fourth quarter net income was little changed at $25.1 million. Sales fell 4.6 percent to $170.4 million.

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