Smith & Wesson Riding Shotgun
Traders: lock and load your checkbooks.
Smith & Wesson (nasdaq: SWHC - news - people ) is entering the shotgun market, announcing that it will unveil two new shotgun lines at a January trade show. Shares jumped nearly 8% in Thursday afternoon trading.
In September, the company had said that it was investigating whether to start manufacturing tactical rifles, hunting rifles and shotguns. The $1 billion long gun market is about 60% larger than the revolver and pistol market in which the legendary gun-maker specializes, according to the company.
“We have entered into an agreement with a team of industry veterans, who have formed a partnership and constructed manufacturing facilities with the sole purpose of producing our innovative line of Smith & Wesson designed shotguns,” said chief executive Michael Golden in a statement.
Shares of the company rose 96 cents, or 7.78%, to $13.25, where they have traded between $3.50 and $14.85 in the past year.
Analysts were wondering how Smith & Wesson would jump into the market, whether it would acquire a company or go out on its own.
Rodman & Renshaw analyst Amit Dayal argued that the company made the right move by choosing not to buy a company. “They don’t have to risk that much,” he wrote in a report. “This was the right decision for these guys."
The question remains when this recent move will materialize into earnings for the company. If the new guns will be available by the fall hunting season, revenues from the new fixed-action and semi-automatic shotguns to hit in the second half of 2007.
On Sept. 7, the company announced financial results for the first fiscal quarter ended July 31, reporting net income of $3.4 million, or 8 cents per share, compared to $2.7 million, or 7 cents per share, for the similar period last year, an increase of 25%.
Much of that surge was attributable to the 83% increase in pistol sales for the quarter, driven by strong sales in law enforcement and continuing shipments to the U.S. Army for the Afghanistan military and police.
Competitors of the Springfield, Mass.-based company include Sturm, Ruger & Co.