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Smith & Wesson Posts Another Record Quarter; Looks to Future

Smith Wesson LogoFresh off record breaking profits in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, Smith & Wesson is looking to the future, reducing operating costs and gearing up for increased production of the M&P pistol line.

According to a press release from Smith & Wesson, Q1-2013 (ending August 31, 2012) was quite good for the company with record net sales and profits plus a reduction in operating costs.

Key Points

  • net sales of $136 million, up more than 48% from Q1-2012
  • gross profit of $51.3 million, or 37.7% of net sales
  • gross profit up from $26.5 million in Q1-2012
  • operating expenses down by $1 million when compared to Q1-2012
  • net income a record $18.9 million, up from $2.3 million in Q1-2012
  • cash on hand at end of Q1-2013 was $60.5 million
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General Information

Walther is a “…shrinking piece of business”

Walther LogoSmith & Wesson and Walther have begun to part ways. According to information released by S&W in an earnings conference call on June 28, 2012, it is pretty clear why the split is coming: sales and margins.

But the split is not a complete parting of ways. In fact, 2/3 of the current agreements between the two companies will remain in place.

According to James Debney, President and CEO of Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., there are three separate agreements between Smith & Wesson and Walther:

  • S&W is the exclusive distributor of German-made Walther firearms,
  • S&W manufactures and distributes Walther PPK pistols made in Houlden, ME, and
  • Walther manufactures S&W M&P 22 pistols in Germany.

Of these, only one is ending in 2013: Smith & Wesson’s importation and distribution of German-made Walther guns. That contract will expire on April 30, 2013. The other two contracts will remain in place, and will be valid for two more years. Future negotiations could extend those agreements.

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General Information

S&W: Record Quarter, Record Year

Smith Wesson LogoSmith & Wesson announced a record quarter and record year for sales and income.  Here are the highlights:

  • For the quarter ending April 30, 2012, S&W’s sales were up almost 28% year over year.
  • For the quarter ending April 30, 2012, S&W’s income was $17.8 million.
  • For the fiscal year ending April 30, 2012, S&W produced a record number of units, generated a record amount of cash and brought in a record amount of income ($26.4 million).

For anyone who tracks Apple stock, these numbers seem anemic, but for Smith & Wesson, they are very good indeed.

According to a Smith & Wesson press release, these records were driven largely because of the popularity of the M&P line of pistols and rifles.  The M&P continues to nibble away at Glock’s share of the law enforcement market, and more and more consumers are flocking to the guns.  Read a few of the popular gun blogs out there and you’ll see that everyone is drinking to Kool-Aid.

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Rifles

Pink Rifles from Smith & Wesson

I don’t much care for pink guns.  Too many of them are simply the standard model firearm, dipped in pink and marketed as a “gun for girls.”  However, I do like pink guns with attitude.  That is exactly what Smith & Wesson is selling through Talo Distributors.

pink smith wesson MP15-22

S&W is making two custom versions of the company’s M&P15-22 rifle.  Both are in “pink platinum” finish.  Pink platinum is the same finish that the custom Walther P22 pistols were made in last year.  I liked the paint scheme on the Walther, and I like it even more on the M&P15-22.

The “standard” pink platinum M&P has an M4-type adjustable stock, quad rail handguard, 16″ threaded barrel, A1-type flash hider and a 25-round magazine.  The receiver has a full length Picatinny rail, which allows the easy installation of optics if the standard iron sights aren’t your cup of tea.

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Ammunition

25,000 FPS Handgun Cartridge

In 2005, Smith & Wesson filed a patent application for a “high velocity ammunition system and firearm.”  The abstract stated the bullets fired from this handgun would achieve muzzle velocities in excess of 25,000 fps!

Smith & Wesson Sabot Cartridge

Let’s put 25,000 fps into context…

  • 25,000 fps is more than 17,000 miles per hour.
  • This is more than 22 times the speed of sound.
  • The .221 Fireball shot from a single shot pistol is the fastest SAAMI-spec handgun cartridge at about 2700 fps.
  • Federal’s 220 Swift load only manages 4250 fps at the muzzle from a rifle.

When I started reading the patent application, I expected that the 25,000 fps was a typo.  It just seemed so far outside the realm of possibility to achieve those speeds from any conventional firearm, much less a handgun.