USA TODAY markets reporter Matt Krantz answers a different reader question every weekday. To submit a question, e-mail Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Can I cash in on Duck Dynasty?
A: Duck Dynasty may be a controversial show that heats up opinions about guns, animal rights and even censorship. But investors can't help but wonder if there's a way to make money from the show's popularity.
The show highlights the life of the Robertson family, which runs the business Duck Commander in Louisiana. Duck Commander makes a variety of hunting gear.
Not only has the show been a hit on TV, but it's also a merchandising sensation. Most recently, the Duck Commander family has said it plans to develop its own line of firearms. For investors, there aren't many direct ways to profit from the phenomenon, though. The Duck Dynasty guns will be made by North Haven, Conn.-based gun maker Mossberg. Mossberg is privately held. Meanwhile, Duck Commander is also a private company. The show is aired by A&E, a joint venture of privately-held Hearst and Disney. But the revenue for Disney is negligible.
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If there's a play for investors to profit off the popularity of the show, it's by buying shares of companies that benefit indirectly when hunting gets more popular. Wal-Mart is a large seller of Duck Dynasty merchandise, but revenue from the products is too small to really make a difference to the massive retailer and its stock. The gun makers are another option, including Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger. Many of these stocks had strong gains in 2013 as consumers stocked up on guns amid fears of more government regulation, which never came to fruition.
There are also publicly traded retailers that sell hunting gear, such as Cabela's, Big 5 Sporting Goods and Dick's Sporting Goods. But so far, Duck Dynasty remains more of a TV phenomenon than a big development for investors.
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