Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Sturm Ruger & Company Inc (NYSE:RGR) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report issued on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. is one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of rugged, reliable firearms for the commercial sporting market. As a full-line manufacturer of American-made firearms, Ruger offers consumers of variations of the product lines, from the ubiquitous 10/22® and Mini-14®, to the new and exciting LCP® II, Mark IV™, Ruger American Pistol®, Ruger Precision Rifle®, SR-556 Takedown®, AR-556® and Ruger American Rifle®. Their awarding-winning products (the Gunsite Scout Rifle, SR9c®, LCR® and LCP®) all prove that Ruger has a rugged, reliable firearm to meet every shooter’s needs. Ruger has been a model of corporate and community responsibility. Their motto, Arms Makers for Responsible Citizens®, echoes their commitment to these principles as they work hard to deliver quality and innovative firearms. “

Separately, ValuEngine upgraded Sturm Ruger & Company Inc from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 29th.

Shares of RGR stock traded down $0.16 on Friday, reaching $58.10. The stock had a trading volume of 155,215 shares, compared to its average volume of 182,035. The company has a market cap of $1.01 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.17 and a beta of 0.17. Sturm Ruger & Company Inc has a 1 year low of $43.00 and a 1 year high of $70.00.

Sturm Ruger & Company Inc (NYSE:RGR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 31st. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by ($0.40). The firm had revenue of $114.95 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $129.80 million. Sturm Ruger & Company Inc had a return on equity of 19.95% and a net margin of 9.95%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 9.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.53 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts expect that Sturm Ruger & Company Inc will post 2.98 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 30th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 16th will be paid a $0.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 15th. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.45%. Sturm Ruger & Company Inc’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 47.22%.

In related news, VP Thomas Patrick Sullivan sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.10, for a total value of $162,300.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 37,810 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,045,521. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Amir Rosenthal sold 3,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total value of $227,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 11,974 shares in the company, valued at $778,310. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 4.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Sturm Ruger & Company Inc by 0.8% in the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,207,050 shares of the company’s stock worth $221,445,000 after purchasing an additional 24,072 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its holdings in Sturm Ruger & Company Inc by 44.8% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 438,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $24,578,000 after purchasing an additional 135,800 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in Sturm Ruger & Company Inc by 6.8% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 283,648 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,586,000 after purchasing an additional 18,170 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its holdings in Sturm Ruger & Company Inc by 58.6% in the 2nd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 259,821 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,558,000 after purchasing an additional 95,983 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp raised its holdings in Sturm Ruger & Company Inc by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 228,625 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,803,000 after purchasing an additional 2,106 shares during the period. 84.15% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Sturm Ruger & Company Inc

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc designs, manufactures, and sells firearms under the Ruger name and trademark in the United States. It operates in two segments, Firearms and Castings. The company offers single-shot, autoloading, bolt-action, and sporting rifles; rimfire and centerfire autoloading pistols; single-action and double-action revolvers; and firearms accessories and replacement parts.

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