Firearms Makers Pressured as 'Great Exodus' Takes Hold (SWHC) (RGR)

January 10, 2013 11:51 AM EST
Smith & Wesson (Nasdaq: SWHC) and Strum Ruger (NYSE: RGR) are lower on the session as another massive fund is looking to exit its stake in the firearms segment.

According to reports out Thursday, California State Teachers Retirement System, known as CalSTRS, will be selling its firearms holdings following the Newtown, CT, shooting in December. Voting was unanimous among the teachers, the NY Times noted today.

The move shouldn't shake stocks too much; divestment is an orderly process that aims are protecting assets for techers. It took CalSTRS several years to move out of big tobacco.

One rep for CalSTRS said the investments were relatively small, about $15 million out of a total $154 billion. Still, other large pension funds might follow suit in evaluating whether or not investing in the firearms and ammo makers is an appropriate allocation for workers in the public sector. New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts have also indicated they would be looking through their portfolios for firearms investments.

CalSTRS also owns part of Freedom Group, makers of Bushmaster rifles. Last month, private equity giant Cerberus also announced plans to exit the segment, having hit close to home for founder Stephen Feinberg.

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