As 2013 begins, now's a good time to look at the future prospects for the stocks you own. If you don't know where a company's headed in the next year and beyond, then it's impossible to make an informed decision about whether you should add the stock to your portfolio -- or sell it if you already own it.

Today, I'll look at Sturm, Ruger (NYSE:RGR). The gunmaker saw its shares rise sharply in 2012 as sales demand soared. But the recent tragedy in Connecticut has renewed calls for gun control that could hurt Sturm, Ruger's business. Below, you'll learn more about Sturm, Ruger's prospects for 2013.

Stats on Sturm, Ruger

Average Stock Target Price


Full-Year 2012 EPS Estimate


Full-Year 2013 EPS Estimate


Full-Year 2012 Sales Growth Estimate


Full-Year 2013 Sales Growth Estimate


Forward P/E


Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will Sturm, Ruger rise or fall in 2013?
Analysts foresee some tough times ahead for Sturm, Ruger. After a strong gain in revenue, 2013 sales are expected to flatten out, and the target stock price is just 5% above its current level.

From a business perspective, Sturm, Ruger's success shows few signs of stopping. Both it and Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWHC) should benefit from a nearly 20% rise in background checks in 2012 compared with last year, and that growth has accelerated in recent months with the re-election of President Obama and fear of tighter restrictions on future gun sales.

But the Newtown shootings promise a vigorous response from gun-control proponents, and as Sturm, Ruger's shares have fallen, those of non-lethal weapon producer TASER (NASDAQ:TASR) have risen on expectations of higher orders. Still, even if gun legislation gets through the highly politicized Congressional process, it would probably face years of court battles before it could take effect. All the while, increased threats of a ban would accelerate demand, potentially leading to the same bottlenecks we saw earlier this year, when Ruger had to stop taking orders so it could catch up with its backlog.

For Sturm, Ruger, much of its 2013 success may rely on what retailers decide to do with their gun-sales policies. If moves from Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) to suspend certain gun sales spread to major retailer Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and others, then it could lead to future problems. But at least for now, the panic in Sturm, Ruger shares seems unfounded, and despite analysts' reluctance to weigh in, the stock could easily move back toward previous highs in 2013.

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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter, @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool owns shares of Dick's Sporting Goods and Sturm Ruger. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.