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Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation Reports Record Quarterly Sales
                               24% Sales Growth

   Third Quarter Marks Successful Launch of M&P Pistols and Tactical Rifles

             FY 2006 Revenue Growth Forecast Increased to 19%-20%

     FY 2007 Forecast Issued: Revenue Up 20%-24%; EPS Approximately $0.30

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (Amex: SWB), parent company of Smith & Wesson Corp., the legendary 154-year old company in the global business of safety, security, protection and sport, today announced net product sales of $38.6 million for the third quarter ended January 31, 2006, a 24% increase over the comparable quarter of the prior year, and the highest quarterly revenue in the company's history.

Third Quarter Financial Results (in millions, except EPS):

John Kelly, Chief Financial Officer, said, "Net product sales of $38.6 million for the quarter ended January 31, 2006 were $7.5 million higher than net product sales of $31.1 million for the quarter ended January 31, 2005, a 24% increase. Firearms sales in the third quarter of fiscal 2006 grew 25.9% over the comparable quarter in fiscal 2005. Net income for the quarter ended January 31, 2006 of $1.1 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, was $1.3 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, higher than the $153,000 loss for the quarter ended January 31, 2005."

Gross profit of $11.3 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2006 was $3.5 million, a 45.5% increase, over gross profit of $7.7 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2005. Gross profit as a percentage of sales and licensing of 28.9% for the quarter ended January 31, 2006 was higher than gross profit of 24.5% for the quarter ended January 31, 2005. We increased quarterly net product sales by $7.5 million and converted approximately $2.6 million, or 35% of that amount, into gross margin. Improvements in production and labor efficiencies resulted in savings of approximately $240,000 over the comparable quarter of fiscal 2005.

Gross profit as a percentage of sales and licensing for the third quarter of fiscal 2006 was slightly lower than anticipated due to utility cost increases announced previously, start-up costs relative to the introduction of our new M&P pistol series and costs associated with transitioning from a seven-day workweek to a five-day workweek in November 2005. By quarter's end, we had concluded negotiations with a new energy supplier and had initiated shipments of the new M&P pistol series. So far, fourth quarter data indicates that we are currently achieving improvements in operating efficiencies under the new five-day work schedule.

Operating expenses for the third quarter of fiscal 2006 of $9.4 million increased by $2.3 million over the $7.1 million in expenses for the comparable quarter of fiscal 2005. Sales and marketing expenses for the quarter increased as expected by approximately $427,000 over the comparable quarter last year, as a result of marketing expenses related to the launch of the M&P pistols series and promotional costs for our NASCAR program. Despite the increase, sales and marketing expenses as a percentage of sales in the third quarter of fiscal 2006 were less than the comparable quarter last year. In June of 2005, we announced that we intended to early adopt Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 123(R), "Share-based Payment (Revised 2004)" (SFAS 123(R)) using the modified retrospective application method. Consequently, we have restated prior periods to reflect the impact of SFAS 123(R). The adoption of SFAS 123(R) resulted in additional stock compensation expense of approximately $662,000 for the quarter ended January 31, 2006 compared with stock compensation expenses of approximately $206,000 for the quarter ended January 31, 2005. During the third quarter of fiscal 2006 we recognized income of approximately $286,000 on a fair value adjustment relative to the liability associated with warrants issued in a private equity placement in September 2005. This benefit was offset by $675,000 in consulting fees incurred during the third quarter of fiscal 2006 relative to the implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley 404 compliance.

Net cash flow from operations for the nine months ended January 31, 2006 increased to $1.7 million compared with $800,000 for the nine months ended January 31, 2005. Capital expenditures for the nine months ended January 31, 2006 were $8.8 million, $1.4 million higher than the $7.4 million in capital expenditures for the first nine months of fiscal 2005. The Company had short-term borrowings of $2.5 million at January 31, 2006.

Michael Golden, President and CEO, said, "This has been a good quarter for us. In addition to achieving 24% sales growth, attaining profitability versus breakeven for the same quarter one year ago, and establishing a record level of revenue, we also achieved some significant milestones in our strategy to grow our core handgun business, to diversify the company, and to enter into new markets with new products."

Core Handgun Business

Golden continued, "Our efforts to become a significant supplier of pistols to the federal government continued to yield results, and we recently won our fourth order in the last nine month period for Sigma 9VE pistols to be sold to the federal government for shipment to the Afghanistan Army. The value of the most recent contract is $15 million, most of which will be shipped in fiscal 2007. We view our ability to secure incremental orders from the federal government as a reflection of our growing visibility with purchasing agencies and key individuals in Washington, and as an indication of the quality and reliability of the products that we have delivered. While we have won this business with our traditional pistol series, we are optimistic that our new M&P polymer pistol series will open additional doors within the federal government."

Military & Police (M&P) Polymer Pistols

"In December 2005 we launched our M&P polymer pistol series, which is designed especially to meet the needs of law enforcement professionals. We currently have units undergoing test and evaluation with over 150 law enforcement agencies. Within one month of our initial shipment of test units, we secured our first full police department conversion in January from the Patrick County, Virginia Sheriff's Office. To date, we have received orders from a total of eight domestic law enforcement agencies. We are working with a number of additional law enforcement agencies that have completed testing, have selected the M&P pistol, and are either processing orders or pending budget approvals. Today, we are announcing that we have received our first international law enforcement order for M&P pistols. The order, from the Peel Regional Police Department (PRPD) of Ontario, Canada, calls for pistols that will be assigned to newly appointed officers. Representatives of PRPD have also indicated to us their intent to eventually convert the entire 1,800-officer force to the M&P. We expect these are the first of many orders we will receive as various departments complete their test and evaluation processes," continued Golden.

Military & Police (M&P) Tactical Rifle Series

"In February of this year, at our industry's largest trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada, we unveiled our highly anticipated entry into the long-gun market with a family of Smith & Wesson M&P tactical rifles. Our research indicates that the Smith & Wesson brand has earned a place in the long-gun market, and the bullish response to our M&P 15 and M&P 15T tactical rifles so far, from both the sporting goods and the law enforcement sales channels, reinforces that point. By designing a product and finalizing a manufacturing agreement within a six-month time frame, we moved into this market quickly. Today I am pleased to announce that we have begun shipping initial test and evaluation units of our tactical rifles to a variety of law enforcement agencies. In addition, we have now received an initial order from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for our M&P15 tactical rifles. We expect to begin receiving additional orders from other law enforcement agencies within the current quarter," added Golden.

Accounting Matters

Results for the quarter ended January 31, 2005 have been restated to correct the accounting for certain stock awards under APB 25 and the adoption of SFAS 123(R).

Updated Outlook for Fiscal 2006 and Fiscal 2007

Fiscal 2006 Outlook

We expect net product sales for fiscal 2006 to increase by 19% to 20% percent over fiscal 2005 compared with our earlier expectations for growth in the 13% to 15% range. This increase is expected to come from continued sales penetration of the sporting goods channel, increased international sales, and initial shipments of the pistol order for shipment to Afghanistan, as announced in February.

We expect gross profit as a percentage of product sales and licensing revenue to increase from 29.1% before the impact of the one-time insurance recovery in fiscal 2005, to approximately 30% in fiscal 2006. This anticipated gross margin improvement is slightly lower than previously expected due to oil and natural gas cost increases and production ramp-up costs for the M&P pistols series. While we have secured a more competitive rate from an alternative energy supplier, we expect energy costs in fiscal 2006 to increase over $1.0 million, or 38% over fiscal 2005.

As a percentage of sales and licensing, we still expect operating expenses in fiscal 2006, excluding the favorable environmental adjustment in the first quarter, to be approximately the same percentage compared with fiscal 2005 levels. We expect interest expense in fiscal 2006 to be approximately $1.6 million, substantially lower than fiscal 2005 levels, reflecting our refinancing activities in January 2005.

We continue to expect net income for fiscal 2006 to increase to between $7.5 million and $8.0 million, or $0.19 to $0.20 per diluted share.

We are increasing our anticipated capital expenditures in fiscal 2006 by $4.0 million to approximately $16.0 million, based on our rapid progress in securing federal government orders, as well as the success of our polymer pistol series. We will reduce our capital expenditure requirements for 2007 by the same amount to reflect this acceleration. The $4.0 million increase will be used entirely to support additional pistol manufacturing requirements, which have grown by over 61% in the current fiscal year. We expect to fund this capital expenditure requirement from operating cash flow.

Fiscal 2007 Outlook

Sales are expected to increase to between $172 and $180 million in fiscal 2007, or 20% to 24% over anticipated sales in fiscal 2006. This increase in sales is expected to come from growth in our existing consumer market, as well as continued penetration of the law enforcement, federal government, and international markets. Both the M&P pistol series and the M&P tactical rifles series are expected to be key drivers in the sales increase for fiscal 2007.

Net income is currently anticipated to be approximately $12.5 million, or $0.30 per diluted share. We expect the 50% increase in net income to be driven by the higher sales volume, gross margin improvement to 32% as well as holding operating expenses constant as a percentage of sales and licensing.

We are reducing our anticipated capital expenditures in fiscal 2007 by $4.0 million to approximately $8.0 million. Our fiscal 2007 expectation now reflects the acceleration of $4.0 million in capital expenditures into fiscal 2006 to support current pistol manufacturing requirements. Capital expenditures for fiscal 2007 are based upon our core handgun business and exclude any new business opportunities we may pursue.

Golden concluded, "I am pleased with our results this quarter, which reflect that we are executing on our strategy to move deeper into our existing handgun business while diversifying our company by moving into new markets with new and existing products. We will intensify our focus on every element of this strategy in order to position ourselves increasingly as a global supplier in the business of safety, security, protection and sport."

Conference Call

The Company will host a conference call today, March 8, 2006, to discuss its third quarter results and its outlook for the balance of fiscal 2006 and fiscal 2007. The conference call may include forward-looking statements. The conference call will be Web cast and is scheduled to begin at 5:00pm Eastern Time (2:00pm Pacific). The live audio broadcast and replay of the conference call can be accessed on the Company's Web site at, under the Investor Relations section. The Company will maintain an audio replay of this conference call on its website for a period of time after the call. No other audio replay will be available.

About Smith & Wesson

Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation, through its subsidiary Smith & Wesson Corp., is one of the world's largest manufacturers of quality handguns, law enforcement products and firearm safety/security products. The Company also licenses shooter protection, knives, apparel, footwear and other accessory lines. The Company is based in Springfield, Mass., with manufacturing facilities in Springfield and Houlton, Maine. The Smith & Wesson Academy is America's longest-running firearms training facility for America's public servants. For more information, call (800) 331-0852 or log on to

Safe Harbor Statement

Certain statements contained in this press release may be deemed to be forward-looking statements under federal securities laws, and the Company intends that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbor created thereby. Such forward-looking statements include statements regarding the Company's anticipated sales, sales margins, gross margins, operating efficiencies, expenses, including anticipated energy costs, earnings, capital expenditures, penetration rates for new and existing markets and new product shipments, for the fiscal years ending April 30, 2006 and April 30, 2007; the Company's strategies; the demand for the Company's products; the success of the Company's efforts to achieve improvements in manufacturing processes; the ability of the Company to introduce any new products and the success of any new products, including the Military and Police pistol series and long guns(rifles and shotguns). The Company cautions that these statements are qualified by important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include the demand for the Company's products, the Company's growth opportunities, the ability of the Company to obtain operational enhancements, the ability of the Company to increase its production capacity, the ability of the Company to engage additional key employees, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's reports filed with the SEC, including its Form 10-K Report for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2005.

John Kelly, Chief Financial Officer
Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation
(413) 747-3305

Liz Sharp, VP Investor Relations
Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation
(413) 747-3304

               SMITH & WESSON HOLDING CORPORATION and Subsidiaries
                           CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
                                     As of:

                                           January 31, 2006     April 30, 2005

    Current assets:
      Cash and cash equivalents                   $955,405        $4,081,475
      Accounts receivable, net of
       allowance for doubtful accounts
       of $71,422 on January 31, 2006 and
       $75,000 on April 30, 2005                19,225,900        18,373,713
      Inventories                               20,776,154        19,892,581
      Other current assets                       2,856,223         2,388,286
      Deferred income taxes                      4,722,853         6,119,561
      Income tax receivable                        410,541             3,701
        Total current assets                    48,947,076        50,859,317
    Property, plant and equipment, net          22,775,166        16,726,361
    Intangibles, net                               348,530           364,908
    Notes receivable                             1,000,000         1,029,812
    Deferred income taxes                        6,688,268         7,806,702
    Other assets                                 4,332,878         5,205,246
      Total Assets                             $84,091,918       $81,992,346


    Current liabilities
      Accounts payable                          $9,143,342       $12,034,692
      Accrued other expenses                     3,524,225         3,482,425
      Accrued payroll                            4,105,737         3,220,730
      Accrued taxes other than income              700,429           589,449
      Accrued profit sharing                     1,165,751         2,403,019
      Accrued workers' compensation                428,884           536,773
      Accrued product liability                  2,750,000         2,524,996
      Accrued warranty                           1,203,002         1,416,092
      Deferred revenue                               4,836            15,646
      Financial instrument liability             1,021,200                --
      Current portion of notes payable           4,164,292         1,586,464
        Total current liabilities               28,211,698        27,810,286
    Notes payable                               14,773,894        16,028,424
    Other non-current liabilities                6,887,464        11,062,459
    Commitments and contingencies

    Common stock                                23,197,357                --

    Stockholders' equity:
      Preferred stock, $.001 par value,
       20,000,000 shares authorized, no
       shares issued or outstanding                     --                --
       Common stock, $.001 par value,
       authorized, 33,206,647 shares on
       January 31, 2006 and
       31,974,017 shares on April 30, 2005
       issued and outstanding                       33,207            31,974
      Additional paid-in capital                 7,171,980        27,744,819
      Retained earnings (deficit)                3,816,318          (685,616)
        Total stockholders' equity              11,021,505        27,091,177
      Total Liabilities & Stockholders'
       Equity                                  $84,091,918       $81,992,346

               SMITH & WESSON HOLDING CORPORATION and Subsidiaries
                            For the Nine Months Ended:

                                           January 31, 2006   January 31, 2005
    Cash flows from operating
     Net income                                 $4,501,934         $3,420,297
     Adjustments to reconcile net income
      to cash provided by operating
       Amortization and depreciation             2,960,393          1,718,205
       Gain on disposal of IdentiKit                    --           (450,515)
       Loss (gain) on disposal of assets            48,220            (94,377)
       Write-off of patents                             --             39,741
       Deferred taxes                            2,515,142          1,963,039
       Provision for losses on accounts
        receivable                                  14,700              9,800
       Provision for excess and obsolete
        inventory                                  830,857            408,104
       Valuation adjustment of derivative
        financial instruments                     (166,800)                --
       Stock option expense                      1,516,903            416,457
     Changes in operating assets and
     (Increase) decrease in assets:
       Accounts receivable                        (866,887)           367,494
       Inventories                              (1,714,430)        (1,412,775)
       Other current assets                       (467,937)          (551,331)
       Income tax receivable                      (143,180)            25,809

     Increase (decrease) in liabilities:
      Accounts payable                          (2,891,350)         1,145,549
      Accrued payroll                              885,007         (1,329,941)
      Accrued profit sharing                    (1,237,268)          (548,233)
      Accrued taxes other than income              110,980            (18,824)
      Accrued other expenses                        41,800           (387,151)
      Accrued income taxes                          32,388                 --
      Accrued workers' compensation               (107,889)            75,000
      Accrued product liability                    225,004           (302,640)
      Accrued warranty                            (213,090)          (167,367)
      Other non-current liabilities             (4,174,996)        (3,829,915)
      Deferred revenue                             (10,810)           285,160
       Net cash provided by operating
        activities                               1,688,691            781,586

    Cash flows from investing
     Note receivable                                29,812             31,669
     Proceeds from sale of marketable
      securities                                        --          1,518,493
     Reductions in collateralized cash
      deposits                                          --         22,673,059
     Payments to acquire patents                    (2,870)           (25,477)
     Proceeds from sale of IdentiKit                    --            300,000
     Proceeds from sale of property and
      equipment                                     35,901            105,375
     Payments to acquire property and
      equipment                                 (8,798,886)        (7,387,105)
       Net cash (used for) provided by
        investing activities                    (8,736,043)        17,216,014

    Cash flows from financing
     Other assets                                  597,184          1,378,860
     Payment on notes payable, Tomkins                  --        (27,000,000)
     Proceeds from loans and notes
      payable                                    2,500,000         18,000,000
     Debt issuance costs                                --           (644,843)
     Proceeds from exercise of options
      to acquire common stock including
      employee stock purchase plan                 649,712            476,184
     Proceeds from sale of common stock
      and common warrants                       24,385,357            123,307
     Repurchase of warrants                    (23,950,701)                --
     Proceeds from exercise of warrants
      to acquire common stock                      916,432                 --
     Payments on loans and notes payable        (1,176,702)       (14,909,502)
       Net cash provided by (used for)
        financing activities                     3,921,282        (22,575,994)

    Net decrease in cash and cash
     equivalents                                (3,126,070)        (4,578,394)
    Cash and cash equivalents, beginning
     of year                                     4,081,475          5,510,663
    Cash and cash equivalents, end of
     period                                       $955,405           $932,269

               SMITH & WESSON HOLDING CORPORATION and Subsidiaries

                             Three Months Ended         Nine Months Ended
                                        Restated                   Restated
                          January 31,  January 31,  January 31,   January 31,
                             2006         2005          2006         2005

    Net product and
     services sales       $38,635,764  $31,145,521  $106,022,454  $87,992,435
    License revenue           418,462      417,100     1,700,652    1,339,868
    Cost of products and
     services sold         27,777,988   23,813,847    76,222,532   59,796,476
    Cost of license
     revenue                    3,222          600        83,867       34,421
    Gross profit           11,273,016    7,748,174    31,416,707   29,501,406

    Operating expenses:
      Research and
       development, net        73,816       64,862       215,682      140,185
      Selling and
       marketing            4,143,553    3,716,024    11,864,313    9,737,460
      General and
       administrative       5,177,335    3,323,250    14,491,382   11,902,266
       (credits)                   --           --    (3,087,810)          --
        Total operating
         expenses           9,394,704    7,104,136    23,483,567   21,779,911

    Income from
     operations             1,878,312      644,038     7,933,140    7,721,495

    Other income
      Other income
       (expense)              239,880     (234,744)      461,557      (27,438)
      Interest income          26,091       89,957        84,246      273,256
      Interest expense       (389,498)    (711,161)   (1,301,117)  (2,365,799)
                             (123,527)    (855,948)     (755,314)  (2,119,981)

    Income (loss) before
     income taxes           1,754,785     (211,910)    7,177,826    5,601,514
    Income tax provision
     (benefit)                632,491      (58,798)    2,675,892    2,181,217
    Net income (loss)      $1,122,294    $(153,112)   $4,501,934   $3,420,297

    Weighted average
     number of common
     and common equivalent
     shares outstanding,
     basic                 39,206,647   31,499,193    35,727,717   31,262,905

    Net income (loss) per
     share, basic               $0.03       $(0.00)        $0.13        $0.11

    Weighted average
     number of common
     and common equivalent
     shares outstanding,
     diluted               40,209,451   31,499,193    39,588,585   36,301,824

    Net income (loss) per
     share, diluted             $0.03       $(0.00)        $0.11        $0.09

SOURCE Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation
CONTACT: John Kelly, Chief Financial Officer, +1-413-747-3305, or Liz Sharp, VP Investor Relations, +1-413-747-3304,, both of Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation