Alliant Profit Beats On Higher Demand For Hunting Gear

Features Reuters

Ammunition maker Alliant Techsystems Inc posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit as it sold more hunting gear and accessories to sport hunters and shooting enthusiasts.

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However, the company forecast 2015 earnings that fell short of analysts' average estimate, which RBC Capital Markets analyst Steven Cahall said could weigh on the company's shares.

Alliant Techsystems', or ATK, shares were flat in light premarket trading on Thursday. The stock closed at $147.91 on Wednesday.

ATK's 2015 forecast of a profit of $10.80-$11.20 per share was below analysts' average estimate of $11.28 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"(The outlook) is likely to come in as a bit disappointing, and probably viewed as initial conservatism by management," Cahall said.

ATK's results in the January to March quarter got a boost from a 71.5 percent increase in revenue form the sporting gun business - which makes sporting rifles, holsters and harnesses.

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The company said last month that it would spin off its sporting business to focus on its aerospace and defense businesses, which together contribute about two-third of revenue.

ATK's total revenue rose nearly 17 percent to $1.35 billion in the fourth quarter.

Net income attributable to Alliant rose 32 percent to $96.0 million, or $2.90 per share. Excluding items, the company earned $2.59 a share.

Analysts had expected earnings of $2.41 per share on revenue $1.32 billion.