Put Traders Pile on Firearms Stock as Earnings Loom

RGR has chart support in place

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Firearm manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE:RGR) was last seen trading down 0.4% at $78.78, one day before the company's third-quarter earnings report, due out Nov. 3 after the market closes. Ahead of the event, put traders have been growing bolder. 

On the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), RGR sports a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.29/ This ratio sits in the 90th percentile of its annual range, indicating RGR  traders are showing a much healthier-than-usual appetite for bearish bets of late.

Ruger's got quite the post-earnings history. It's last seven post-earnings reports have been to the upside, including a 4.9% pop back in August. For Thursday's price action, the options market is pricing in a post-earnings move of 7.7%, much larger than  the average post-earnings move of 3.7% the stock has had the last eight reports. 

Ruger stock is up 21% in 2021, but remains a ways off its July 1 record high of $92.49. Despite the breather in the last six months, the shares' 200-day moving average stepped up as a floor in September and October.
 
RGR Stock Chart
 
Overall, Ruger stock presents itself as a solid long-term investment, given its low valuation and high dividend yield. RGR offers a forward dividend of $4.00 and dividend yield of 5.07%. Ruger stock also trades at an attractive price-earnings ratio of 10.07. In addition, Sturm, Ruger & Company has a strong balance sheet with $174 million in cash and just $1.95 million in total debt.
 
Fundamentally, RGR’s biggest shortcoming is its inconsistent top- and bottom-line growth. Ruger experienced two consecutive years of revenue and net income declines between fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2019. However, Sturm, Ruger & Company has managed to increase revenues 70% and grow net income 330% since fiscal 2019, marking a positive shift in their overall growth rate.

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