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Will New Smith & Wesson Pistols Continue Sales Momentum?

by Kyle Wintersteen   |  November 30th, 2012 13

Smith-&-Wesson-SalesThe past five years haven’t just been good for Smith & Wesson—they’ve been great. Sales are booming, and so too is the company’s stock, which jumped a whopping 210 percent from August 2010 to August 2011. And for the first quarter of 2012, the arms maker reported a 48-percent increase in sales and a backlog of orders valued at approximately $392 million—for a time, Smith & Wesson actually couldn’t make guns quickly enough to meet demand.

How has the company managed to so greatly exceed expectations? America’s increased interest in guns for concealed carry and home defense has certainly helped. Ditto for recent sales spikes fueled by gun-control fears. The 2008 election of Barack Obama drove a firearms and ammo boom, and Obama’s November 2012 reelection is credited with literally boosting Smith & Wesson’s stock (Ruger’s too) and setting a Black Friday gun sales record.

However, while firearms sales are up across the board, S&W has done disproportionately well among arms makers. Why? Arguably because the company pulled out an old-fashioned trick: offering consumers products they want. From M&P pistols and semi-auto rifles to classic revolver models, S&W firearms have sold well.

Not everyone thinks the trend will continue, though. In August, KeyBanc Capital Markets downgraded Smith & Wesson’s stock by 9 percent to $8.90. KeyBanc argued that the firearms market can’t maintain the current rate of sales and therefore, according to KeyBanc, S&W’s stock was artificially high. But given that Smith & Wesson’s stock has since rebounded to $10.48 and overall gun sales are projected to remain high through at least early 2013, was KeyBanc misguided in that assessment? Will Smith & Wesson see continued growth in the coming year? Much of that depends on the success of its new introductions. Here’s what’s new from Smith & Wesson:

  • Hammerhand

    That great. Will they create new model S&W? Forget revolvers how about new 45acp or more new 10mms? I will always favour a S&W in own way.

  • Tommy

    I'm a self admitted S&W junkie, owning quite a few of their weapons. But $1,579 for a .22 caliber pistol, you can count me out thank you. However I do like the look and feel of the 1911 model pictured.

  • JOHN

    Wish they would bring back the AR 15-22 PISTOL !

  • Richard

    Good Reason, but S&W, shouldn't allow unforgivable 'mark up's' by Ruthless Dealer's, Capitalisom is Great, but why Advertise A Gun (Shield) at one Price & let Other's 'Mark Up'! If anything S&W is entitled to more Profit, Raise the Price, We won't feel gouged! Instead it's like 'Ticket Scalper's reselling to let you into a 'pre-advertised Rock Concert! Call me Un-American, but 'Fair is Fair! I'm on SS % tired of 'Ripoffs', I get plenty of that 'day-to-day from Uncle!
    I'll have to wait until production catches up to demand or greedy Dealer's are 'full' of their (what they think They're entitled) Just like D.C.!

  • Mick

    Note the trend of sales of "retro" revolvers. My thoughts: ditch the lock, and start putting out 3- and 4- inch barrelled Model 19's and 66's, the mainstay of the product line for so many years. While there are quite a few used ones on the market I, for one. would like a new Performance Center tuned Model 19; handy, tame when desired, capable of 99% of revolver needs, more nimble than 586. But get rid of the blasted lock!

  • coachpan

    American made and they back their product for life. Now, how do you beat that?

  • James

    S&W will continue to do well with firearms and the security side of their business.

    The current issue of G&A has the article about the 586 model returning to production after a long hiatus.

    I purchased S&W shares when they were sub $3 and are pleased with the performance.

    Few years ago S&W turned things around with new experienced management and replaced the poor
    quality piece-rate compensation. The folks kept turning out parts but they were not up to spec.
    New equipment was introduced to the factory floor and the rest is history.

  • Ben_OBrien

    Love to get my hands on the new Smith guns!

  • Trish

    It would be nice if people could by the M&P shield 9mm or the 40!! Nobody can get their hands on this gun!!!!!

  • Trish

    I mean "BUY" this pistol!!! EXTREMELY hard to get!!!!

  • Idahoshooter

    I was never much of a S&W fan until the M&P 9 came out and won me over. I now own 4 M&P pistols and 1 AR. As soon as I can find the M&P CORE I will own it too. I have really been impressed with Smith and refereed dozens of folks to buy the M&P series.

  • Mack Missiletoe

    Most likely, a big YES to this article. The question is, 'For how long?'

    Well, as long as S&W keeps their tooling accurate and offers quality firearms–including the 'oldies but goodies' –they should do fine. It helps if the Gun Magazines feature articles about the history and models of S&W to keep our kids interested. One day we will get old …and Heaven forbid our kids embrace only Plastic [guns] and forget Steel [guns]! Haha…

    I have some semi-auto pistols but my heart is with quality revolvers. I have a Smith Model 60 3" that has nice Target sights and I impress myself with it's accuracy! It is such a joy to load the cylinder, versus magazines in an autoloader, especially when plinking or target shooting.

    I like Smith A LOT–Smith and Ruger are my favorite Revolver companies. They both offer thir own unique style to the revolver world. They should do well for a long time, yet prepare if sales go down. If sales are trending ridiculously higher than normal, like reported in the article, they should not consider the extra profit permanent.

    There will be both high and low times in business. I think that a successful businessman enjoys and shares the high times while preparing for the low times. I am NOT talking about cutting employees' profits but rather SAVING money or investing it for those low months or years that may be hiding around the corner.

    • Mack Missiletoe

      May I add the Smith and Wesson M&P .22lr has gotten great reviews. The reviews I have read stated it was fairly accurate, reliable (not a lot of jams), and useful for training.

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