SPRINGFIELD — American Outdoor Brands, the parent company of Springfield gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson, reported year-over-year increases in both sales and profits Thursday.
Net sales for the most recent quarter were $161.7 million compared with $148.4 million for the same time last year, according to the company’s news release. That’s an increase of 8.9 percent.
Net profit was $6.7 million, or 12 cents per diluted share, compared with net profit of $3.2 million, or 6 cents per diluted share in the same three months of last year.
These numbers are for the second quarter of the company’s fiscal year, the three months that ended Oct. 31, 2018.
AOBC cited strong sales of firearms and knives. In particular, new gun models introduced within the last year accounted for 26 percent of firearm revenue.
“We are pleased with our second quarter operational and financial results, which reflect year-over-year increases in revenue and profitability in both our Outdoor products and accessories segment and our firearms segment,” said President and CEO James Debney. “Our outdoor products and accessories segment, a strategically important market that we first entered just four years ago, generated approximately one-third of our revenue in the quarter.”
Stock analysts had predicted strong sales.
AOBC stock traded Thursday afternoon at $12.21 a share, up 39 cents or 3.3 percent on the day.
Background checks through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System are up 3.2 percent from this time last year, and 6 percent higher than the previous quarter, according to stock analysis website Motley Fool. The gun industry uses the checks as an indicator of firearm sales.
Smith & Wesson changed its name to American Outdoor Brands in 2016 as it diversified into product lines like camping and hiking gear as well as shooting and gunsmithing tools and accessories.
Thursday’s announcement follows an announcement of strong earnings for the first quarter of AOBC’s current fiscal year.
AOBC and Smith & Wesson’s gun business remains controversial. Gun control activists demonstrated outside the Smith & Wesson plant on Roosevelt Avenue repeatedly in 2018.
And in September, a coalition of activist Roman Catholic nuns won their shareholder vote requiring AOBC management to write a report on what they are doing as a company to fight gun violence and keep firearms away from those who shouldn’t own them. The nuns said the report is due in January.
AOBC’s net sales were $138.8 million in its first quarter of the fiscal year, a period that ended July 31, compared with $129 million for the same quarter last year, an increase of 7.6 percent.
The company reported income for that first quarter of $7.6 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, compared with a loss of $2.2 million, or 4 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter last year.
In June, American Outdoor Brands reported annual sales were down 33 percent for this past fiscal year compared with the year before.
Smith & Wesson traces its roots to 1852, when Horace Smith and Daniel Baird Wesson partnered to manufacture a firearm that used a self-contained cartridge.
American Outdoor Brands has 1,600 employees at its Springfield Smith & Wesson plant. It is advertising for production and professional workers in Springfield, at a plastics plant in Deep River, Connecticut, and at a new warehouse in Missouri.