Smith & Wesson, one of the leading manufacturers of firearms in the United States, is considering a name change. The new name would be American Outdoor Brands Corporation. The decision on whether or not to change will be made in December by a vote by stockholders. The reason behind the proposal is to cater to a broader enterprise. After 164 years, Smith & Wesson’s president and chief executive officer, James Debney, said the name “American Outdoor Brands Corporation” will better reflect their wide variety of products.
Debney said, “Looking forward, we intend to aggressively grow organically and through strategic acquisitions, focusing on brands and products that best meet the needs and lifestyle of our target consumers.” The name change would only affect the holding company, Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation. The firearms name, Smith & Wesson would remain the same. For the past couple years, Smith & Wesson has expanded their market to include a very lucrative outdoor segment that has been valued at $60 billion. The brand has added guns, accessories, sporting goods, hunting goods, and catered to the outdoor market.
This endeavor began in 2014, when Smith & Wesson bought accessory maker Battenfeld Technologies. They then purchased a number of smaller companies before buying laser sights maker Crimson Trace. Manufacturing efforts then began a division into four categories, firearms, accessories, electro-optics and manufacturing services. Long term sales cannot yet be determined but it is reported that there has been a 20 percent growth. The company’s Fiscal Year 2016 reports indicate some $15.3 million more than initial estimates expected.
Smith & Wesson reported $206.9 million in sales for its first quarter, which is a 40 percent increase from the prior year. Accessories accounted for some $14.5 million, respectively. Any stockholder that purchased shares of stock prior to October 24 can attend the December 13th meeting and can also vote. A majority is necessary for approval of the name change.