Smith & Wesson: Gun market enters 'more normalized environment' in Q2

Earning less than half the profits than the year before, Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation aimed to ease investors’ minds describing its second quarter activity.

Raking in $19.6 million of net income six months into fiscal year 2015, the company is down from $43.5 million from last year, according to Thursday’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, come trading time Friday stock price closed 39 cents higher on the NASDAQ.

Demand for Smith & Wesson rifles and pistols has been declining since the peak of 2013’s sales boom, due to a looming fear of increased regulation on gun ownership, but sales are leveling out for the Connecticut-based company.

James Debney, the company’s chief executive officer, said the results met the company’s expectations as the firearm market “returns to a more normalized environment.”

By Oct. 31 net sales came to $108.4 million, down 22.1 percent from the year before. Handgun sales dominated the total, making up $77.7 million whereas rifles pulled in $18.9 million.

Smith & Wesson buyers favored Military & Police branded polymer handguns, particularly ones designed for concealed carry.

Sales for AR and M4 variants dropped since efforts by lawmakers pushing for an assault weapons ban have been placed on the backburner.

Also last quarter the company also began laying track for future endeavors.

Last week the company agreed to acquire the shooting and hunting accessories maker Battenfeld Technologies, Inc., an addition that is expected to increase annual revenue by $55 million.

They plan to finalize the deal mid-December and within a year transfer all gun accessory production to Battenfeld’s facility in Columbia, Missouri.

Last month, Smith & Wesson teamed with General Dynamics Ordnance to compete in the U.S. Army’s upcoming Modular Handgun Competition. Together they’re aiming to unseat Beretta after nearly 30 years at the throne making the military’s standard issued sidearm.

If the Smith & Wesson M&P pistol outperforms the Beretta M9, the contract would benefit the team financially and the design would gain instant credibility among gun buyers with the invaluable U.S. military stamp of approval.

Efforts are split evenly. Smith & Wesson will provide the pistol and General Dynamics, with its storied history working with the U.S. military, will navigate the formalities and niceties of winning a Department of Defense contract.

Moving forward, Smith & Wesson said it will continue following seasonal trends, shifting gears in the third quarter to focus efforts on promotion and marketing for a slew of trade shows in the coming months.

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