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Daniel David Williamson
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On May 5th, 2014, Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. announced net sales of $169.9 million for the first quarter of 2014. The reporting also shows fully diluted earnings of $1.22 per share. These announcements display steady growth from the same quarter in 2013 that showed net sales of $155.9 million and fully diluted earnings of $1.20 per share. The company's Board of Directors also announced a 49c per share dividend for shareholders of record as of May 16th 2014, payable on May 30th, 2014. The dividends vary by quarter as the company pays a percentage of earnings instead of a fixed amount per share.

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According to The Wall Street Journal, C.E.O. Michael O. Fifer attributes earnings increases of 2% and the 9% increase in sales as such, "The main driver of the reduced operating margins was a product mix shift away from unusually strong sales of higher-margin firearms accessories that we enjoyed one year ago. Additionally, increased depreciation expense affected operating margins."

During the first quarter of 2014, new products resulted in $41.3 million in sales or 24% of firearm sales overall. Fifer describes the company's re-investment efforts, "In the first quarter of 2014, capital expenditures totaled $9.6 million, much of it related to tooling fixtures and equipment for new product introductions and to upgrade and modernize manufacturing equipment. We expect to invest approximately $35 million on capital expenditures during 2014 as we continue to prioritize new product development."

Demand for Ruger firearms outpaced the growth in industry demand according to data provided by National Instant Criminal Background Check System ("NICS"). There was a 10% increase in estimated Ruger units sold from Distributors to Retailers. Also, Ruger enjoyed a 22% increase in total adjusted NICS background checks. Fifer also reported that the company returned $10.5 million to shareholders by paying dividends.

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The company's full Quarterly Report on for 10-Q can be accessed through the SEC and at the Ruger website.

Ruger is not only one of the country's leading firearm manufacturers but represents the only "full line" manufacturer of American made firearms. Consumers can purchase over 400 variations based on 30 product lines. Ruger has remained dedicated to operating with corporate and community responsibility holding to its motto of "Arms Makers for Responsible Citizens." By offering innovative, quality firearms in a responsible fashion, Ruger has positioned itself as an industry leader for over 60 years.

This quarterly report demonstrates steady growth for the company who remains strong in the industry and a favorite among American firearm enthusiast. Ruger trades on the NYSE under (RGR).
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