Smith & Wesson to expand in outdoor goods, hunting guns

Smith-&-Wesson

A giant Smith & Wesson sign at the company’s booth on display at SHOT Shot 2016. (Photo: Daniel Terrill)

If or when the bubble that is the current surge in gun sales bursts, Smith & Wesson wants to survive it.

The Massachusetts gun-maker gave a presentation to investors last week that highlights plans that would continue expansion into outdoor sports and fill gaps in its current firearms catalog.

Analysts said executing the strategy will stiffen competition with competitor Vista Outdoor, a conglomerate that owns a host of outdoor brands, ammo companies and Savage Arms, The Wall Street Journal reported. The broader outdoor-sporting goods market, valued at $60 billion, is roughly four times larger than the U.S. gun industry.

Smith & Wesson did not specify what companies it’s currently eyeing, but said those that would be considered will match its own criteria for rate of return. The plan will be executed over the next three to five years, the company said.

Smith & Wesson listed the average price consumers spent on gun accessories as comparable to what was spent on a gun. Using figures from 2012, the company said male buyers spent an average $545 on accessories versus $554 of their gun, while women spent $457 on accessories versus $469 on their gun.

In the second quarter for fiscal year 2016, Smith & Wesson generated $143.3 million in sales with the majority, 87 percent, coming from firearms and the rest, 13 percent, from the company’s still budding endeavor of selling accessories.

Smith & Wesson finalized the acquisition of Battenfeld Technologies, which consists of nine hunting and shooting brands, in December 2014. In the past year, the gun maker shifted production of all its accessories to Battenfeld’s Missouri facility.

Smith & Wesson’s analysis of current firearm markets shows the company either gaining or maintaining positions with every type of gun except lever-action rifles and shotguns — because it has none to offer. The analysis also shows both types of firearms as having potential for growth. The company said the solution for tapping into those markets would be buying companies that already offer the products.

The gun maker re-emphasized estimated annual revenue for FY 2016 landing between $650 million to $660 million.