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Vista Outdoor to sell gun brands and focus on bullets

Vista Outdoor shares plummeted on Tuesday after it said it would stop making firearms, and focus on other product lines including bullets and water bottles. 

Vista will explore a sale of Savage and Stevens firearms as part of a review that began in November,  the company said in a statement. "Vista Outdoor is excited about the potential of each of our core businesses, particularly ammunition, which is our largest core business," said Vista CEO Chris Metz.

Since a mass shooting at a Florida high school killed 17 people in February, retailers including Dick's Sporting Goods have stopped selling assault-style rifles, while Citigroup in March said it would no longer do business with those who don't follow its new policies on selling firearms.

Metz alluded to the impact of politics on the business in a conference call Tuesday, saying "unexpectedly, the election results turned the shooting sports industry upside down." 

While gun rights advocates favored Donald Trump in his White House bid, his election had a dampening effect on gun sales, which tend to pick up along with calls for gun control. 

"The bottom line is this, the company grew too fast and beyond its core," said Metz.

Shares of Vista, which reported a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of $15.9 million on revenue of $571.2 million, fell as much as 15 percent.

Visa's shift comes as debt-riddled Remington Outdoor goes through bankruptcy

American Outdoor Brands, formerly known as Smith & Wesson, saw its profits slide 90 percent last year, while Sturm Ruger has also reported double-digit declines in profit.

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