Ruger buys back stock, price per share increases

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. bought back 3.5 percent of the outstanding shares of its common stock in 2014’s fourth quarter.

At an average price of $35.22 per share, Ruger paid $24 million for 680,800 shares in open market transactions. The company said it paid with cash on hand.

Buybacks allow a company to return wealth to shareholders. By absorbing outstanding stock, a repurchase reduces the number of shares available on the open market and forces the price per share to increase.

For the third quarter, profits plunged for the firearms giant by more than 76 percent compared to 2013, but the company’s top brass advised investors not to worry. However, while 2013 was an unusual year for the gun industry, due to the looming fear of stricter federal regulation, the $28.6 million difference was a dramatic change.

But the buyback worked. By the end of trading, Ruger’s stock price closed at $38.31 per share, an increase of 7.2 percent — one of the biggest jumps today for companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

As of Dec. 31, the company still had $76 million for repurchases and 18.7 million shares of common stock remaining outstanding.