Smith & Wesson ends year 25% up, but forecasts less for 2018

A Smith & Wesson sign below a giant American flag at SHOT Show 2017 in Las Vegas. (Photo: Daniel Terrill)

A Smith & Wesson sign below a giant American flag at SHOT Show 2017 in Las Vegas. (Photo: Daniel Terrill)

Smith & Wesson owner American Outdoor Brands Corporation reported a more than three percent increase in sales last quarter, closing out the fiscal year yielding $903.2 million in sales, according to the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Massachusetts’ company chief executive officer James Debney described the “record level revenue” as a reflection of its long-term plan expanding the company to include other areas that supplement gun sales.

While the company’s new areas of production accounted for $130.2 million in sales, or 14.4 percent, gun sales made up the lion’s share of annual sales with $773 million. Profits jumped 36.1 percent to $127.9 million.

Gun sales breaks down into $556.6 million for handguns, $179.6 million for long guns, and another $36.8 million for other products and services. Consumer gun sales made up 91.2 percent of the total and law enforcement sales made up the other 8.8 percent.

Giving more color to gun sales, Debney emphasized the importance of new products, saying they’re expecting the Smith & Wesson’s M&P pistol series and concealed carry firearms to continue to be popular through 2018.

“Sales of our market-leading M&P Shield pistol designed for concealed carry remained strong,” he said. “In the fourth quarter alone, we sold over 195,000 Shield units, reflecting tremendous consumer adoption rates and extraordinary market share gains.”

For the quarter — February to April — the gun maker saw only a marginal increase in sales. The company reported $229.2 million in sales, up 3.6 percent from $221.1. million last year, but a 22.2 percent decrease in profit.

Competitor Sturm, Ruger & Company ended its first quarter — months January through March — with three-percent decrease in sales, but described earning the $167.4 million as a “struggle.”

National gun sales during Smith & Wesson’s fourth quarter decreased 3.4 percent from last year, a difference between 3.5 million in 2017 to 3.6 million last year. Handgun sales also saw a decrease, by 4.8 percent.

Despite the successful fiscal year, the company expects annual sales in 2018 to decrease by 12.5 to 17 percent.

Article updated on July 4, 2017 at 10:18 am EST