STURM, RUGER & CO., INC. REPORTS:
Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. (NYSE-RGR), the nation’s largest producer of firearms, today reported financial results for both the calendar year and fourth quarter 2001.
For the year Ruger recorded sales of $174.3 million, net income of $13.5 million, and earnings per share of $0.50. The respective figures for 2000 were sales of $202.7 million, net income of $27.0 million, and earnings per share of $1.00.
For the fourth quarter of 2001, Ruger had sales of $51.7 million, net income of $4.9 million, and earnings per share of $0.18. Comparable amounts for 2000 were sales of $50.8 million, net income of $7.5 million, and earnings per share of $0.27.
Chairman William B. Ruger, Jr. commented on the year, “After a challenging first half of the year, the last two quarters have offered encouragement, particularly with respect to firearms. Although I am disappointed with the $0.50 earnings per share result, I must recognize the efforts of our management team in successfully reacting to these trying economic and market conditions. At years end we have emerged financially and technologically strong. We introduced several new product offerings at our February 2002 industry show and our strong, debt-free balance sheet affords us the opportunity to continue to explore areas of growth both within and outside of the firearms and investment casting businesses.”
Related to the firearms results, Mr. Ruger expressed optimism with second half results. “I am pleased to report a 13% increase in firearms unit shipments during the fourth quarter, matching the increase of the previous quarter. Demand for both centerfire and bolt-action rifles, including the Ruger Compact M77 Mark II hunting rifle, resulted in a 52% growth of rifle shipments. Likewise, heightened demand for double-action revolvers, including our large-frame Ruger Super Redhawk Revolver chambered for the new .480 Ruger cartridge, resulted in increased double-action unit shipments of 22%.”
Commenting on the castings results, Mr. Ruger remarked, “Our castings business declined in 2001 as sales dropped 26% from the prior year. Unlike firearms, the castings business did not experience a turnaround during the latter half of the year. We will continue to focus on this segment until a satisfactory resolution is achieved.”
For 2002, Mr. Ruger announced a wealth of new firearms, “As a result of our steadfast commitment to new product development, we are excited to announce some dynamic additions to our extensive catalog of “classic” firearms for 2002. The Ruger Gold Label Side-by-Side Double Shotgun is the first American-designed and manufactured side-by-side shotgun in decades. Its revolutionary “round action” styling and slim barrels give this 6 1/3 pound elegant masterpiece unparalleled handling. The Ruger 77/17 Bolt-Action Rifle, a completely new concept in rimfire magnum rifles, fires a flat-shooting .17 HMR caliber at an astonishing 2,500 feet per second. The Ruger M77MKII Short Magnum Rifles feature chamberings for both Winchester and Remington’s “Short Magnum” cartridges, and the Ruger 10/22 All-Weather Stainless Rifle with a new synthetic stock is the latest addition to our all-weather rifle line.
“New handguns in 2002 include the Ruger Vaquero “Bird’s Head” Grip Models which combine rakish styling with a comfortable grip that allows the revolver to roll in the hand during recoil for increased shooting comfort, and the Ruger Stainless Steel New Bearcat, a rust-resistant stainless-steel version of the classic lightweight .22 caliber single-action revolver. Also, we are reintroducing the powerful .44 Magnum Ruger New Model Super Blackhawk Hunter, the only single-action revolver which comes factory equipped with scope bases permanently machined into an integral barrel rib. The development and introduction of new products in all four industry categories of rifles, shotguns, pistols and revolvers, will continue as we journey into the twenty-first century.”
For the sixth consecutive quarter, the Company was not served with any additional municipal lawsuits while several favorable developments occurred. On October 1, the Connecticut Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the earlier dismissal of the Bridgeport (CT) lawsuit against the Company and other firearms manufacturers. On October 9, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the New Orleans (LA) case which had been previously dismissed by the Louisiana Supreme Court in April. The Florida Supreme Court refused to hear Miami’s (FL) appeal of its dismissal on October 24 and on January 11, 2002, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the dismissal of the Philadelphia (PA) lawsuit.
Commenting on the litigation front, Mr. Ruger asserted, “2001 was an eminently successful year in the legal arena. A dramatic series of victories in trial and appellate courts across the country have soundly endorsed the rule of law over the coercive attempts of publicity-seeking politicians and trial lawyers to misuse tort law. We are encouraged by these developments and firmly believe that if judges throughout the country continue to apply the law, we will be vindicated in all jurisdictions. We also take great satisfaction that the most recent National Safety Council statistics show that firearms accidents declined 20% from 1999 to 2000, and dropped an astounding 67% in the decade 1990-2000 to the lowest level ever recorded since 1903. This is due in large part to the extensive firearms safety efforts undertaken by the industry and by our Company.”
Ruger was founded in 1949. Since 1950 it has never failed to show an annual profit and has never required financing from outside sources. The Company’s business segments are engaged in the manufacture of the world famous RUGER‚ brand of sporting and law enforcement firearms and titanium and steel investment castings for a wide variety of customers and end uses. Plants are located in Newport, New Hampshire and Prescott, Arizona. Corporate headquarters is located in Southport, Connecticut.
The Company may, from time to time, make forward-looking statements and projections concerning future expectations. Such statements are based on current expectations and are subject to certain qualifying risks and uncertainties, such as market demand, sales levels of firearms, anticipated castings sales and earnings, the need for external financing for operations or capital expenditures, the results of pending litigation against the Company including lawsuits filed by mayors, attorneys general and other governmental entities and membership organizations, and the impact of future firearms control and environmental legislation, any one or more of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. The Company undertakes no obligation to publish revised forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date such forward-looking statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of subsequent unanticipated events.
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