Vista Outdoor Inc. is now an entity in and of itself. While it may not mean much to those don’t make a living on Wall Street, it’s also exciting news for investors, shooters and journalists who follow the financial well-being of the gun world.
Vista Outdoor, or VSTO as it’s called on the New York Stock Exchange, is a publicly traded company and therefore owes it to a wide group of investors to disclose quarterly and annual results, and explain successes and losses.
Along with a handful of other traded companies — Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation, Sturm, Ruger & Company, Winchester Ammunition, and Colt Defense — Vista Outdoor acts as a barometer for the industry’s progress.
Vista Outdoor, formerly the Sporting Group of defense and aerospace giant Alliant Techsystems, is the hub for companies like Federal Premium ammunition, Bushnell Optics, Savage Rifles, Blackhawk! gear, and Uncle Mike’s Holsters, just to name a few.
In all, Vista Outdoor’s portfolio includes 23 outdoor companies, seven ammo companies, and one gun company.
The Feb. 10 separation comes after ATK merged with rocket maker Orbital Sciences, and ATK began laying the groundwork for Vista Outdoor for the better part of a year.
Although the company will retain its infrastructure, filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange will be independent and ending financial results will not be combined with other industries.
However, investors are wondering what Vista Outdoor is worth since gun sales began to normalize after declining from a surge in sales in 2013.
Vista Outdoor reported a loss of $11.2 million in its third quarter filing. However, the company’s loss of $11.2 million in the third quarter was not an operating loss, but due to a non-cash goodwill impairment charge. Nine months into fiscal year 2015, Vista Outdoor reported a profit of $63.6 million.
Third quarter sales totaled $507 million, down 3 percent from the prior-year quarter of $524 million due to a decreased volume in the shooting sports segment.
When Vista’s stock hit the NYSE at the end of January shares sold for $31 and put the company’s value at an estimated $2 billion, but price per share increased, trading at $43.8 per share as of closing yesterday.
Correction: We reported that Vista Outdoor is a $20.2 million company, when in fact it’s a $2 billion company. Also, we originally said Vista Outdoor reported a loss, but it was not an operating loss.