Sturm Ruger shatters gun sale target

Sturm, Ruger and Co. ended last year with 1.25 million bangs. That’s how many guns the company sold in 2011 through its Million Gun Challenge, and that’s how many dollars the company will donate to the National Rifle Association as a result of its success.Ruger — headquartered in Connecticut but with a large facility in Newport — claims that no one has ever built and shipped more than a million guns in a year before.”We achieved this milestone because of the strong support of our loyal consumers,” said CEO Mike Fifer. “Everyone who purchased a Ruger during the past year contributed to this achievement and should take pride in making history.”Ruger sold 382,500 firearms in the last quarter, bringing its total over the 1 million goal. But the trend is accelerating in 2012, according to a release issued last month by the company.Independent wholesalers placed orders for more than a million firearms by the first day of spring (though it is unclear over what period of time this order is to be filled), and Ruger issued a press release saying that it was suspending new orders until the end of May.On May 1, the company said, it will file its quarterly report, which may offer more details.The NRA isn’t the only one benefiting from Ruger’s sales explosion.Last year the company reported sales of $324 million with a net profit of $40 million, or $2.14 a share. And its top five executives earned compensation packages in 2011 totaling $12.15 million — more than triple what they earned a year ago.Fifer got the biggest package, about $4.52 million, compared to $1.3 million the previous year. — BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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