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Smith & Wesson: On the Ropes Again?

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Smith & Wesson: On the Ropes Again?

Smith & Wesson misfire: Rifle sales drop 50% the headline at fortune.com reveals. That, friends, is a significant drop. Which had a significant impact on S&W’s overall sales, which also dropped. The company’s second-quarter earnings report tells the tale.

Net sales for the second quarter were $108.4 million, a decrease of 22.1% from net sales of $139.3 million for the second quarter last year. The expected decrease was a result of lower consumer demand and competitors’ excess inventory at distributor and retailer locations, which followed an earlier surge period when consumers purchased firearms in anticipation of possible additional restrictive regulations.

Sales of long guns, primarily modern sporting rifles, were most heavily impacted, declining 50.3% compared with the comparable quarter last year, while handgun sales declined 15.0% — a smaller decline because of continued strong sales of small concealed carry polymer pistols and revolvers.

So “continued strong sales of pistols and revolvers” are the only bright spot in this dismal picture, eh? Tight branding wins. Also note: Smith’s report blames the precipitous sales drop on falling demand and competitors‘ excess inventory. That completely glosses over the fact that Smith & Wesson ramped up production — at considerable long-term expense — to capitalize on the post-Newtown sales surge. Which has left Smith with plenty o’ inventory of its own.

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