7/23/2014

Fortune Magazine completely mangles story on gun sales "declining"

Fortune magazine's Laura Lorenzetti makes a lot of logical mistakes in her "news" article here.
It looks like Americans may be buying fewer guns this year. 
Smith & Wesson  SWHC , the 162-year-old gunmaker, lowered its guidance for the quarter and rest of the year, even as it reported better than expected sales in its fiscal fourth quarter that ended Apr. 30. Shares of Smith & Wesson’s stock had dropped nearly 9% by the close of trading Friday following the announcement
The company reported sales of $170 million in its fourth quarter, higher than the average analyst estimate of about $164 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue was almost 5% less than the year-earlier quarter. . . . 
The once high-selling gun industry may be facing a comedown as incidents of gun violence have soared this year. There has been an average of almost one school shooting every week for the past year and a half, the Washington Post reported earlier this month. . . .
Does reporter Laura Lorenzetti have any idea how inaccurate the Bloomberg claim is that there was one school shooting every week for the last year and a half?  The claim that increased gun violence is responsible for a drop in sales makes many errors.  Does a sales drop for Smith & Wesson imply an overall drop in gun sales?  No.

So what do the NICS checks numbers show on gun sales (click on screenshot to enlarge it)?  NICS checks are not a perfect measure of gun sales, but it is hard to see how its biases have changed in a systematic way this past year.

With the exception of background checks in January and February, 2014's background checks exceed those in 2013 and they are well ahead of those in 2012 for all months.  Fortune incredibly fails to even mention the explosion of gun sales right after Newtown and President Obama's re-election.  Does anyone believe that January and February sales in 2013 were normal sales to make comparisons with?  Even if Smith & Wesson's sales might be down for the last quarter, sales for the entire industry during the April through June quarter look like they are still higher than 2013.  How the Fortune reporter can spin a discussion from one gun maker into a general commentary on the entire gun industry is pretty disappointing.

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3 Comments:

Blogger chicago guy said...

Just look at her resume -- that explains it all.

7/23/2014 6:53 AM  
OpenID gunfreezone said...

CNN Money had a similar article back in February.

http://money.cnn.com/2014/02/14/news/companies/guns-ammo-sales/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

They compared December sales with January and they found a drop making them say that the "frenzy" was over. Of course they never cared to explain why January has always been traditionally low in sales compared to December even prior the election of Bush.

7/23/2014 9:06 AM  
Blogger eric webb said...

Agreed, expected far more from Fortune Magazine than this. One can speculate if this is part of a larger editorial anti-self-defense strategy or simply one individual's lack of analysis and "copy-cat" quoting. Either way, Fortune Magazine gives the impression of yet another "fallen icon."

7/23/2014 12:11 PM  

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