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Guns, money and the enemy in our hands

By Dian Vujovich

The figures are horribly startling: In the past 12 years there have been roughly 360,000 gun deaths in the U.S., according to gunpolicy.org. On the other hand,in a recent interview President Obama pointed out that since 9/11 deaths by terrorists in the Homeland number under 100.

There is something very wrong with those sets of figures. Especially when it turns out that in America we are killing one another at a pace many many times greater than that of ISIS/ ISSL terrorists.

But this blog isn’t about politics or terrorists. It’s about money. And making money in sin stocks, in this case companies that manufacture guns, ammunition, etc, is nothing new. Like all investments, however, sin stocks aren’t always profitable.

A look at the one-year performance of three publicly traded U.S. gun manufacturers —Strum & Ruger (RGR) Olin (OLN) and Smith & Wesson Holdings (SWHC),—shows that price volatility comes with the territory.

Strum & Ruger, (RGR) they make semi-automatic rifles and pistols, closed today (7/24/15) at $56.98 a share (dividend 2.2 percent). In the past 52 weeks its price has ranged from 33.60 to 59.07, according to Yahoo.com.

Olin, (OLN) think Winchester rifles, guns and ammunition here, closed at 22.73 (dividend 2.3 percent) with a per share price range from $20.43 to $34.34, over that same time frame. And Smith & Wesson (SWHC), considered our country’s leading hand gun manufacturer, closed at $15.81 (no dividend) with a per share price range over the past year of $9.03 to $17.04, according to that same source.

Who knows if any of these companies are worth investing in today. But, consider the data published this afternoon from Zacks Equity Research: “Firearms companies like Sturm, Ruger & Company and Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. have been hit by low demand for weapons, as the earlier rush to possess firearms triggered by the fear of tighter regulations has ebbed to a large extent.”

If it were up to me I’d tighten our gun regulations as well as enforce the current gun laws that too many have turned a blind eye to for too many years and resulted in way too many deaths.

I’m not sure what that would mean for investors in these three sin stocks. But when the right to bear arms does more public harm than good something has got to give.

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