Sturm, Ruger (NYSE:RGR) said Wednesday it is experiencing a period of "unprecedented demand," which helped send sales and profits soaring in the third quarter.

The gunmaker reported revenue jumped 53% from a year ago while earnings increased fivefold to $1.39 per share.

Woman receiving firearms instruction

Image source: Getty Images.

Safety is priority one

CEO Chris Killoy highlighted the civil unrest occurring around the country as the reason for Ruger's outsized performance.

"Consumer demand showed no signs of letting up during the quarter as concerns about personal protection and home defense were stoked by civil unrest in some cities around the United States, the call, by some, for the reduction in funding and authority of law enforcement organizations, and the continuing COVID-19 pandemic," he said in a statement.

Ruger was also constrained in its ability to meet demand because the coronavirus outbreak forced it to balance hiring enough workers to meet the burgeoning deficit of firearms at retail locations with maintaining the health and safety of its employees.

Even so, Ruger was able to increase production sequentially from the second quarter to the third by 15%, and 50% year over year.

The boost in profits also resulted in Ruger's dividend jumping to $0.56 per share for the third quarter. Because the gunmaker bases its payout on a percentage of its profits (about 40% of net income), the dividend fluctuates from quarter to quarter. Last quarter it also issued a special dividend of $5 per share to investors on top of the regular payout because of the massive surge in gun buying.

Ruger also said its acquisition of the Marlin brand of firearms from bankrupt Remington is on track to close in the second half of 2021.

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