Shares of Southport, Conn.-based Sturm, Ruger (NYSE:RGR) rose modestly during daytime trading Tuesday, and then continued to drift upwards in the after-hours market after the company reported Q3 earnings.

Sturm's earnings report, however, was much stronger than investors appeared to give it credit for. Earnings for the quarter came in at $1.44 per share, well ahead of the $1.21 per share that Wall Street had been expecting. Similarly, Sturm's $170.9 million in revenues for the quarter trumped expectations for just $154.3 million in revenues.

Sturm's unit sales for the quarter were up 31% year over year. Sales by dollar value grew 44.5% in comparison to Q3 2012. Profits grew even more strongly, improving by more than 63.6%.

Importantly, Sturm CEO Michael O. Fifer noted that Sturm's performance was superior to what appears to have taken plane elsewhere in the guns industry, where National Instant Criminal Background Check System data shows that gun purchases in the U.S. so far this year have grown about 22% in comparison with sales levels at this time, last year. Sturm's unit-sales, in contrast, are up 26% year to date, and were up the aforementioned 31% in Q3.

New product introductions such as Sturm's LC380 pistol, SR45 pistol, and Ruger American Rimfire rifle may have contributed to the company's taking market share from other gun manufacturers.

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