Smith & Wesson’s quarterly report for the period that ended Oct. 31 reflected the highest earnings in any three-month period for the gunmaker, shattering all previous highwater marks, including the record-setting sales figures set only 90 days before. The document—required by the Security and Exchange Commission from all publicly traded companies—along with comments during the follow-up earnings call, provide a more detailed look at firearm sales than possible by dissecting the FBI’s NICS numbers.
Quarterly net sales for Smith & Wesson were $248.7 million. During the same reporting period in 2019 that figure came in at less than half—$113.7 million.
“Today, I am pleased to report a second consecutive record-breaking quarter for our 168-year-old company,” said Mark Smith, company president and chief executive officer. “These results are a testament to Smith & Wesson’s devoted team of employees, and their ability to deliver strong performance in the face of any challenge. Because of the hard work of our employees, who have been diligently following our safety protocols, we have been able to continue safely operating our business and, during these extremely difficult times when so many of our fellow Americans are out of work, we successfully created and filled 287 new jobs during our second quarter. Along with our existing employees, our new team members played a critical role in achieving these record-breaking numbers.”
Smith’s opening comments during the earnings call put current demand at the retail level into perspective. NICS background checks related to firearm sales increased 57.5 percent during the quarter, he said, but “…our total units shipped into the sporting goods channel during this time increased 93.4 percent to 586,000 units, while simultaneously, our SRA and distributor combined inventory levels declined by over 208,000 units.”
The number of Smith & Wesson handguns shipped during the quarter came it at 420,000, an increase of 74.3 percent. Inventory in the company’s various channels dropped by 178,000 units, a clear indication demand is clearly outpacing production capacity.
The story is similar in long guns. Shipments increased by 167.7 percent to 166,000 firearms, yet inventory dropped by 30,000.