Whether you are a gun enthusiast, or not, Smith & Wesson Holding Corp (NASDAQ:SWHC)’s performance is surprising investors and analysts across the country. The maker of handguns and semi-automatic rifles, located in Springfield, Massachusetts, recently reported third quarter sales of $146 million, up 7%, and a 42% rise in earnings from the same quarter last year. Smith & Wesson has about 17% of the $2 billion U.S. handgun market and a 7% share of the $2.1 billion “long gun” market. And after this recent report some analysts are ready to recommend BUY Smith & Wesson, while others are remaining cautious and advise to SELL Smith & Wesson.

Smith & Wesson Holding Corp SWHC

Smith & Wesson Holding Corp SWHC

Following the Aurora, CO movie theater shooting in 2012 and the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre at the end of 2012, gun sales shot up as people purchased thousands of guns in anticipation of increased gun sale restrictions and laws. Since then, gun sales have decreased.  Even though, Benchmark Co. analyst Ronald Bookbinder believes, “Smith & Wesson’s volume should continue to rise as it increases manufacturing capacity and takes market share.” Ronald recommends BUY Smith & Wesson in light of the recent positive reports. He has a 4.3% average return.

Ronald also recommended BUY Smith & Wesson Holding Corp (NASDAQ:SWHC) after the company displayed a strong upward trend in sales last year. At this time, people were busy buying guns before any anti-gun laws were actually established. Ronald recommended BUY noting, “the anticipation of new gun laws will give a sizeable boost to backlog. During the third quarter, order backlog was already the highest in Smith & Wesson’s history.” Ronald ended up earning +10.3% over S&P-500.

On the other hand, KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Scott Hamann is exercising a more wary approach after the positive results and recommends SELL Smith & Wesson. Scott said he is “still cautious on the firearms industry and anticipates Smith & Wesson will face moderating demand.” Scott has a 2.6% average return over S&P-500.

Despite the controversies over gun laws and guns themselves, Smith & Wesson Holding Corp (NASDAQ:SWHC) has shown its strength in the market. Before you jump the gun, these analysts have very similar ratings, so be sure to review each analyst’s pas recommendations by downloading TipRanks, and start making financial decisions with advice you can trust.