Vista Outdoor’s stock shoots up toward a near 4-year high after Cowen analyst said it’s time to buy

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Share of Vista Outdoor Inc. shot up 24.6% in midday trading Tuesday, putting them on track for the highest close since February 2017, after Cowen analyst Gautam Khanna turned bullish on the ammunition and shooting sports accessories maker, saying the current ammo demand upcycle is likely to last. Khanna raised his rating to outperform, after being at market perform for at least the last three years, and raised his price target to $33 from $29. Among the reasons Khanna believes ammo demand will continue, he believes President-elect Joe Biden’s stricter gun control ambitions than current President Donald Trump’s will provide an ammo/firearm “demand stimulant.” Also, the recent ammo demand surge reflects and “an influx of new shooters,” rather than just stockpiling by longstanding shooters, and the “cultural ‘Armageddon’ mentality may linger” given the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and civil unrest fears. The upbeat assessment of ammo demand was giving the shares of firearms makers a boost amid broader stock market weakness, with Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. rallying 2.5% and Sturm Ruger & Co. climbing 2.8%, while the S&P 500 fell 0.2%.
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