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@P moop

  

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

Form 10-K

 

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD

Commission file number 1-31552

 

 

Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

 

Nevada

 

87-0543688

(State or Other Jurisdiction of

Incorporation or Organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

2100 Roosevelt Avenue

Springfield, Massachusetts 01104

(800331-0852

(Address including zip code, and telephone number,

including area code, of principal executive offices)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

(Title of Class)

Trading Symbols

(Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered)

Common Stock, Par Value $.001 per Share

SWBI

Nasdaq Global Select Market

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

 

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

 

  

Accelerated filer

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

  

Smaller reporting company

 

Emerging growth company

 

 

 

 

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404 (b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262 (b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    Yes      No  

The aggregate market value of Common Stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant (55,436,981 shares) based on the last reported sale price of the registrant’s Common Stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on October 30, 2020, which was the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was $919,699,515. For purposes of this computation, all officers, directors, and 10% beneficial owners of the registrant are deemed to be affiliates. Such determination should not be deemed to be an admission that such officers, directors, or 10% beneficial owners are, in fact, affiliates of the registrant.

As of June 15, 2021, there were outstanding 47,999,397 shares of the registrant’s Common Stock, par value $.001 per share.

Documents Incorporated by Reference

Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K.

 

 

 

 


 

SMITH & WESSON BRANDS, INC

ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K

For the Fiscal Year Ended April 30, 2021

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

Page

 

 

PART I

 

 

ITEM 1.

 

BUSINESS

 

1

ITEM 1A.

 

RISK FACTORS

 

14

ITEM 1B.

 

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

33

ITEM 2.

 

PROPERTIES

 

33

ITEM 3.

 

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

33

ITEM 4.

 

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

33

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

ITEM 5.

 

MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

34

ITEM 6.

 

RESERVED

 

36

ITEM 7.

 

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

37

ITEM 7A.

 

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

45

ITEM 8.

 

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

 

45

ITEM 9.

 

CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

 

45

ITEM 9A.

 

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

45

ITEM 9B.

 

OTHER INFORMATION

 

47

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

ITEM 10.

 

DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

48

ITEM 11.

 

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

48

ITEM 12.

 

SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

 

48

ITEM 13.

 

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

 

48

ITEM 14.

 

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

 

48

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

ITEM 15.

 

EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

 

49

SIGNATURES

 

52

INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

F-1

EX-4.2

 

 

 

 

EX-10.111(c)

 

 

 

 

EX-10.112(b)

 

 

 

 

EX-10.112(c)

 

 

 

 

EX-21.1

 

 

 

 

EX-23.1

 

 

 

 

EX-31.1

 

 

 

 

EX-31.2

 

 

 

 

EX-32.1

 

 

 

 

EX-32.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Smith & Wesson®, S&W®, M&P®, M&P Shield®, Performance Center®, Airlite®, Airweight®, Armornite®, Bodyguard®, Chiefs Special®, EZ®, Governor®, Lever Lock®, Magnum®, SW22 Victory®, T/C®, America’s Master Gunmaker®, Compass®, Contender®, Dimension®, Encore®, Flextech®, Mag Express®, Maxi-Hunter®, Maxima®, Number 13®, Power Rod®, QLA®, Quick Load Accurizer®, Speed Breech®, Speed Breech XT®, Swing Hammer®, T17®, T/CR22®, Triumph®, U-View®, Weather Shield®, Gemtech®, Arrow®, Aurora®, Aurora-II®, Blast Jacket®, Dagger®, G-Core®, GM®, GMT-Halo®, Halo®, Integra®, Lunar®, Mist-22®, Quickmount®, Shield®, Silencer Subsonic®, The Professional’s Choice for Decades®, Trek®, Viper®, World Class Silencers®, Smith & Wesson Precision Components®, and Put A Legend On Your Line®, are some of the registered U.S. trademarks of our company or one of our subsidiaries.  460XVR™, American Guardians™, Competitor™, C.O.R.E.™, CSX™, E-Series™, Empowering Americans™, Gunsmarts™, M2.0™, S&W500™, SD™, SDVE™, Sport™, SW1911™, The S&W Bench™, Thompson/Center Arms™, Cheap Shot™, Impact!™, Impact!SB™, Katahdin™, Maxi-Ball™, Multimount™, Natural Lube 1000 Plus™, Pro Hunter™, Pro Hunter FX™, Pro Hunter XT™, Quickshot™, Speed Shot™, Strike™, Super Glide™, Venture™, Alpine™,  One™, Patrolman™, and Tracker™ are some of the unregistered trademarks of our company or one of our subsidiaries.  This report also may contain trademarks and trade names of other companies.

 

This report includes market and industry data that we obtained from industry publications, third-party studies and surveys, government agency sources, filings of public companies in our industry, and internal company surveys. Industry publications and surveys generally state that the information contained therein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Although we believe the foregoing industry and market data to be reliable at the date of the report, this information could prove to be inaccurate as a result of a variety of matters.

 

 


 

Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information

 

The statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained or incorporated herein by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including statements regarding our future operating results, future financial position, business strategy, objectives, goals, plans, prospects, markets, and plans and objectives for future operations, are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “targets,” “contemplates,” “projects,” “predicts,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” “may,” “can,” “potential,” “continue,” “objective,” or the negative of those terms, or similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. However, not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Specific forward-looking statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K include statements regarding the impact, if any, of statements regarding our objectives, goals, strategies, plans, and focus; our estimation that the annual domestic non-military firearm market based on industry shipments is approximately $2.9 billion for handguns and $1.5 billion for long guns, excluding shotguns, with our market share based on the latest data provided by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, or NSSF, utilizing Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax data for calendar year 2020, being approximately 21.2% and 15.0%, respectively; our expectation of a significant increase in firearms manufactured to be reported by the ATF once calendar year 2020 data is published in late 2021; our plan to continue to introduce new products in fiscal 2022; our belief that we will drive customer satisfaction and loyalty by offering high-quality, innovative products on a timely and cost-effective basis; our intent to continue to streamline and standardize certain administrative functions of our business; our intent to continue investing in systems to enhance our efficiency, improve information reporting, and strengthen internal controls; our intent to continue our focus on developing, growing, and protecting our iconic firearm brands and using our cash flow from operations on actions that will maximize our return on invested capital; our intent to focus on the hunting and long-range shooting market under our iconic Smith & Wesson brand; our belief that the loss of one or more distributors would not materially impact sales; our belief that our digital platform supports future sales growth and profitability; our intent to continue investing in improving our facilities and our systems; our intent to pursue and challenge infringements of our intellectual property; our expectation that current environmental regulations or environmental proceedings will not have a material adverse effect on our finances; our belief that our training and development leads to more valuable contributions and satisfaction for our employees in their existing role and any future position; our anticipation that inventory levels will remain relatively flat in the first quarter of fiscal 2022; our anticipation that we will continue to incur significant capital and other expenditures with respect to the Springfield facility; our plan to continue to expand our brand recognition and product loyalty through social media and our websites; our anticipation that our advertising, marketing, and promotional efforts will increase in the foreseeable future; our anticipation that we will increasingly rely on other forms of media advertising; net sales, margins, expenses, earnings, royalties, and capital expenditures for fiscal 2022 and thereafter; estimates of fair value; goodwill and intangible assets; the effect of a variety of economic, social, political, legislative, and regulatory factors on our business; the outcome of the lawsuits and claims to which we are subject and their effect on us; future investments for capital expenditures; future products and product developments; the features and performance of our products; the success of particular product or marketing programs; any manufacturing partnerships, strategic alliances, or acquisitions we may enter into or make; future enterprise resource planning implementations and system improvements; future enhancements to our manufacturing capabilities, and liquidity and anticipated cash needs and availability. All forward-looking statements included herein are based on information available to us as of the date hereof and speak only as of such date. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements. The forward-looking statements contained in or incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K reflect our views as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K about future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and changes in circumstances that may cause our actual results, performance, or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future events, results, performance, or achievements. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among other, economic, social, political, legislative, and regulatory factors; the potential for increased regulation of firearms and firearms-related products; actions of social activists that could have an adverse effect on our business; the impact of lawsuits; the demand for our products; the state of the U.S. economy in general and the firearm industry in particular; general economic conditions and consumer spending patterns; our competitive environment; the supply, availability, and costs of raw materials and components; speculation surrounding fears of terrorism and crime; our anticipated growth and growth opportunities; our ability to increase demand for our products in various markets, including consumer, law enforcement, and military channels, domestically and internationally; our penetration rates in new and existing markets; our strategies; our ability to maintain and enhance brand recognition and reputation; our ability to introduce new products; the success of new products; our ability to expand our markets; the potential for cancellation of orders from our backlog; and other factors detailed from time to time in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, including the factors discussed under Item 1A, “Risk Factors.”

 

 

 


 

PART I

Item 1. Business

Introduction

 

General

We are one of the world’s leading manufacturers and designers of firearms. We manufacture a wide array of handguns (including revolvers and pistols), long guns (including modern sporting rifles, bolt action rifles, and muzzleloaders), handcuffs, suppressors, and other firearm-related products for sale to a wide variety of customers, including firearm enthusiasts, collectors, hunters, sportsmen, competitive shooters, individuals desiring home and personal protection, law enforcement and security agencies and officers, and military agencies in the United States and throughout the world. We sell our products under the Smith & Wesson, M&P, Thompson/Center Arms, and Gemtech brands. We manufacture our products at our facilities in Springfield, Massachusetts, Houlton, Maine, and Deep River, Connecticut. We store finished good inventory and fulfill customer orders from our distribution center in Columbia, Missouri. We also sell our manufacturing services to other businesses to level-load our factories. We sell those services under our Smith & Wesson and Smith & Wesson Precision Components brands.

 

Smith & Wesson was founded in 1852 by Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson. Mr. Wesson purchased Mr. Smith’s interest in 1873. The Wesson family sold Smith & Wesson Corp., our wholly owned subsidiary, to Bangor Punta Corp. in 1965. Lear Siegler Corporation purchased Bangor Punta in 1984, thereby acquiring ownership of Smith & Wesson Corp. Forstmann Little & Co. purchased Lear Siegler in 1986 and sold Smith & Wesson Corp. shortly thereafter to Tomkins Corporation, an affiliate of U.K.-based Tomkins PLC. We purchased Smith & Wesson Corp. from Tomkins in May 2001 and renamed our company Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation. In January 2017, we changed the name of our company from Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation to American Outdoor Brands Corporation. In May 2020, in preparation for the spin-off of our outdoor products and accessories business, or the Separation, which was completed on August 24, 2020, we changed our name to Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. Unless otherwise noted, all discussion below, including amounts and percentages for all periods, reflect the results of operations and financial condition from continuing operations. As such, our former outdoor products and accessories business is reported as discontinued operations and has been excluded.

We maintain our principal executive offices at 2100 Roosevelt Avenue, Springfield, Massachusetts 01104. Our telephone number is (800) 331-0852. Our website is located at www.smith-wesson.com. Through our website, we make available free of charge our annual reports on Form 10-K, our proxy statements, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, our current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to any of these documents filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act. These documents are available as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file them with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC. We also post on our website the charters of our Audit, Compensation, and Nominations and Corporate Governance Committees; our Corporate Governance Guidelines, our Code of Conduct, and any amendments or waivers thereto; and any other corporate governance materials contemplated by the regulations of the SEC and the Nasdaq Global Select Market. These documents are also available in print by contacting our corporate secretary at our executive offices.

Unless the context indicates otherwise, the terms “we,” “our,” “ours,” “us,” and “our company” refer to Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries. “Common stock” refers to the common stock, par value $.001 per share, of our company. Our fiscal year ended on April 30, 2021.

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Our objective is to be the undisputed market leader in the firearm industry. Key elements of our strategy to achieve this objective and deliver long-term stockholder value are as follows:

 

drive organic growth by leveraging our brands and maintaining a robust product pipeline to increase market share in markets in which we participate and expand into adjacent and complementary markets;

 

design, produce, and market high-quality, innovative firearms and related accessories that meet the needs and desires of our consumer and professional customers and that drive customer satisfaction and loyalty;

 

create a leverageable infrastructure by streamlining and standardizing our business operations, including optimizing product distribution; and

 

deploy our cash flow in such a manner so as to maximize return on invested capital.

We estimate that the annual domestic non-military firearm market based on industry shipments is approximately $2.9 billion for handguns and $1.5 billion for long guns, excluding shotguns, with our market share, based on the latest data provided by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, or NSSF, utilizing Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax data for calendar year 2020, being approximately 21.2% and 15.0%, respectively. According to 2019 reports by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, the U.S. firearm manufacturing industry has shown a minimal annual decline in firearms manufactured between 2014 and 2019 in spite of individual years in which units manufactured have grown as much as 23.0% in one year. The data from the ATF lags by one year from the NSSF data, and we expect a significant increase to be reported by the ATF once calendar year 2020 data is published in late 2021.

Strategy

Our objective is to be the undisputed market leader in the firearm industry. Key elements of our strategy to achieve this objective are as follows:

Drive Organic Growth by Leveraging Brands and Designing Innovative New Products

 

We are focused on driving organic growth by ensuring a robust new product pipeline and leveraging our brands to help us to increase market share in markets in which we participate and to expand into adjacent and complementary markets by (1) capitalizing on the goodwill developed through our historic 169 year old “Smith & Wesson” brand as well as our extensive portfolio of other well-known brands, such as M&P and Gemtech; (2) enhancing our relationships with key retailers, distributors, and buying groups and using our standard margin advantage to engage in competitive promotional activities; and (3) introducing new products, especially in the polymer handgun market as represented by our M&P brand. During the last two fiscal years, we have introduced numerous new products, including variations and product lines around the Smith & Wesson, M&P, and Gemtech, brands. We plan to continue to introduce new products in fiscal 2022.

Design, Produce, and Market High-Quality Products that Drive Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

We are focused on designing, producing, and marketing high-quality, innovative firearms and related accessories that meet the needs and desires of our consumer and professional customers and that drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.  Our ongoing research and development, product engineering, product sourcing, marketing, and distribution activities are critical components of our ability to offer successful products. We believe that by offering high-quality products and services on a timely and cost-effective basis, as well as providing world-class customer service, training, and support, we will drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.  We regard our high-quality, innovative products as the most important aspect of our customer satisfaction and loyalty, but we also offer customer service and support with various programs, such as toll-free customer support numbers, e-mail customer question and answer communications, broad service policies, and product warranties.

Create a Leverageable Infrastructure by Streamlining and Standardizing our Business Operations, including Optimizing Product Distribution

 

We intend to continue to streamline and standardize certain administrative functions of our business with a goal toward driving profitability and improving the ease with which our customers are able to do business with us. A

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streamlined and standardized approach requires investing in an integrated and configurable technology infrastructure in areas such as enterprise resource planning, or ERP, and compliance. We intend to continue investing in such systems to further enhance our efficiency, improve information reporting, and strengthen internal controls.

Deploy our Cash Flow in Such a Manner so as to Maximize Return on Invested Capital  

 

During fiscal 2021, we generated $317.3 million in cash from continuing operations. We utilized this cash to repay all of our existing debt, invest in equipment to increase our capacity and improve our efficiency, declare and pay the first ever dividend in our history, and repurchase $110 million of our outstanding stock. We intend to continue our focus on developing, growing, and protecting our iconic firearm brands and using our cash flow from operations on actions that will maximize our return on invested capital, including continuing to invest as needed in organic growth, especially in machinery, equipment, and new product development and returning excess capital to our stockholders.

Products  

 

Introduction

Our products combine our legacy of 169 years of American manufacturing and engineering expertise with modern technological advances. Driven by the needs of the individual firearm owner, we continually strive to improve the experience of buying, owning, and shooting a firearm. We also strive to leverage our tradition of innovation in materials, performance, and engineering, along with our proven history of reliability, to produce feature-rich, safe, durable, accurate, and high-performing firearms that satisfy the needs of our broad range of customers. Our introduction of new products is intended to enhance our competitive position and broaden our participation in the overall market.

We have substantially enhanced the breadth and quality of our portfolio of products over the years. We have always been a leader in the revolver market. The introduction of our popular M&P branded pistol in January 2005 resulted in our company becoming one of the leaders in the polymer pistol market as well, serving both the consumer sporting goods market and law enforcement agencies. The launch of our M&P branded modern sporting rifle in January 2006 has enabled us to capture what we estimate is the leading share of the modern sporting rifle market. The addition of our Thompson/Center Arms brand of hunting firearms and interchangeable firearm systems into our product portfolio in January 2007 enhanced our long gun barrel manufacturing capabilities for our modern sporting rifles. Although we recently announced our plan to divest our Thompson/Center Arms brand, we intend to focus on the hunting and long-range shooting market under our iconic Smith & Wesson brand. The addition of our Gemtech branded suppressor products in August 2017 expanded our firearm-related product offerings. Our suppressors are compatible with most pistols and rifles on the market and complement our firearm products. We currently participate in three categories of the long gun market: bolt action rifles, muzzleloaders, and modern sporting rifles; and both core categories of the handgun market: semi-automatic pistols and revolvers.

All of our firearms and firearm related products are currently sold under our Smith & Wesson, M&P, Thompson/Center Arms, and Gemtech brands. Our customers include distributors; federal, state, and municipal law enforcement agencies and officers; government and military agencies; retailers; and consumers.

Our product development strategy is to understand our customers’ needs and preferences and then design and develop products to uniquely meet those requirements. Throughout this process, we test multiple concepts with firearm owners and potential purchasers. We compare these test results against a growing database of prior concepts to identify those with the greatest market potential. Additional market research is completed to optimize the desired features and benefits. While this development process is ongoing, our launch timing for new products depends on market conditions to maximize sales across the entire product portfolio.

 

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In fiscal 2021, we introduced several additions and enhancements to our popular line of M&P branded pistols, most notably the high capacity, micro-compact M&P Shield Plus. Designed for concealed carry, the M&P Shield Plus is the most advanced M&P Shield pistol to date, featuring a magazine of up to 13 rounds in a slim, micro-compact frame. The M&P Shield Plus is available in 9mm and in a variety of configurations, including Performance Center® models with optics cuts, upgraded sights, and other features.  We also expanded the line of M&P M2.0 Compact pistols to include an optics-ready variant. Building on the award-winning M&P M2.0 Compact pistol series, the new models are chambered in 9mm and feature a slide cut for optics, co-witness white-dot front and rear sights, and enlarged forward slide serrations.  

 

Our customers continue to demand premium firearms that provide a competitive edge in sport shooting and hunting. Our Performance Center products are engineered and manufactured to meet this need and they incorporate many custom features not found in our standard products, such as enhanced triggers for smoother trigger pull, ported barrels for better muzzle control, and specialty sights for quicker target acquisition. During fiscal 2021, we introduced the Performance Center M&P Shield EZ pistols. Building on the popular M&P Shield EZ pistol, the new Performance Center models share the same easy-to-use features found across the entire M&P Shield EZ series and are further enhanced with premium Performance Center features.  The Performance Center M&P Shield EZ pistols are available with black, silver, and gold accents and include a ported barrel, flat face trigger, a tuned action, as well as other features.

Within our Gemtech line of suppressors, we introduced the Integra 15-22 suppressor, an integrally-suppressed upper receiver designed for .22 LR.  Built for use exclusively with Smith & Wesson’s M&P15-22 rifle, the Gemtech Integra 15-22 ships as a complete upper receiver group that offers an exceptionally quiet shooting experience in a compact package.

Our net sales from continuing operations were $1.1 billion for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021; $529.6 million for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2020; and $481.3 million for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2019. Our gross profit from continuing operations for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019 totaled $449.0 million, $165.7 million, and $146.3 million, respectively. Total assets from continuing operations as of April 30, 2021 and 2020 were $446.4 million and $486.4 million, respectively.

Handguns

We currently manufacture an extensive variety of handgun models that includes revolvers and pistols. A revolver is a handgun with a cylinder that holds the ammunition in a series of rotating chambers that are successively aligned with the barrel of the firearm during each firing cycle. There are two general types of revolvers: single-action and double-action. To fire a single-action revolver, the hammer is pulled back to cock the firearm and align the cylinder before the trigger is pulled. To fire a double-action revolver, a single trigger pull advances the cylinder as it cocks and releases the hammer. A pistol is a handgun in which the ammunition chamber is an integral part of the barrel and which is fed ammunition from a magazine contained in the grip. The firing cycle ejects the spent casings and loads a new round into the chamber.

We have long been known as an innovator and leader in the revolver market, and most of our revolvers are currently marketed under the Smith & Wesson brand. We sell a wide range of sizes from small-frame revolvers used primarily for concealed carry and personal protection, to large-frame revolvers used primarily for recreational and competitive sport shooting. Our extra-large frame revolvers primarily address the handgun-hunting market.

Our small-frame revolvers have been carried by law enforcement personnel and personal defense-minded citizens for 169 years. We hold a number of patents on various firearm applications, including the use of scandium, a material that possesses many of the same attributes as titanium but at a more reasonable cost. Our revolvers are available in a variety of models and calibers, with applications in virtually all professional and consumer markets.

We offer pistols under our Smith & Wesson and M&P brands. Our full size and compact M&P pistol products have been engineered with input from professional users and are designed to offer performance, safety, and durability that meet the standards of global law enforcement and military personnel, as well as features attractive to consumers. We believe that our M&P branded pistol products are the most ergonomic, feature-rich, and innovative products on the market today. Our range of full size and compact M&P pistol products are made with a polymer

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frame, a rigid stainless-steel chassis, and a black, through-hardened corrosion resistant finished stainless-steel barrel and slide for durability. Our M&P pistol products feature patented and easily changed palmswell grips in four sizes, allowing the user to customize grips in a matter of seconds; a passive trigger safety to prevent the pistol from firing if dropped; an enlarged trigger guard to accommodate gloved hands; a sear lever release that eliminates the need to press the trigger in order to disassemble the firearm; an ambidextrous slide stop and reversible magazine release to accommodate right- and left-handed shooters; an optional internal locking system and magazine safety; and a universal equipment rail to allow the addition of accessories, including lights and lasers.

In fiscal 2012, we launched the M&P Shield pistol to address the growing personal protection and concealed carry market. The M&P Shield features a slim concealable profile, 9mm, 380 Auto, 40 S&W, and 45 Auto calibers, and M&P ergonomics. We introduced additional M&P Shield models during fiscal 2020. We believe the M&P Shield pistol is one of the most popular firearms in the market, having shipped nearly five million units as of April 30, 2021.

Our Performance Center has been providing specialized products and services for the most demanding shooting sports enthusiasts since 1990. To meet the requirements of law enforcement professionals, competitive shooters, collectors, and discriminating sport enthusiasts who demand superior products, our Performance Center personnel conceptualize, engineer, and craft products to create enhanced versions of our standard products. Our craftsmen, many of whom are actively involved in competitive shooting, are highly skilled and experienced gunsmiths. Performance Center products are offered under the Smith & Wesson and M&P brands and are typically made in limited production quantities, although we offer a number of catalog variations in order to increase product availability.

Our “Classics” department makes it possible to own historic firearms that are manufactured today but modeled after original favorites, such as the Model 29, the firearm made famous by the movie character Dirty Harry. These firearms are newly crafted with designs that take advantage of some of the most famous and collectible firearms that we have ever made. Our Classics department also makes commemorative firearms and employs master engravers to craft one-of-a-kind custom firearms. These custom-made applications reflect the skill and vision of the master engraver and the artistic expression of the owner. We offer a number of catalog variations of Classics and engraved Classics to our customers.

Long Guns

Our M&P branded modern sporting rifles are designed to satisfy the functionality and reliability needs of global military, law enforcement, and security personnel. These long guns are popular with consumers as hunting, personal protection, and sporting target rifles and are sold through our sporting good distributors, retailers, and dealers. We offer M&P modern sporting rifles in four different calibers (22LR, 5.56mm NATO (223), 308 Winchester (7.62x51mm), and 6.5 Creedmoor) for multiple recreational and professional uses. We also offer upper assemblies so firearm owners can easily modify their M&P to suit the needs and tasks of the various forms of sport shooting and hunting. Our broad product portfolio of modern sporting rifles includes a 22 caliber model, an opening price-point sport model, a hunting caliber model for longer range effectiveness, and several models designed for the exclusive use of military and law enforcement agencies throughout the world.

We manufacture three lines of bolt-action rifles under our Thompson/Center Arms brand with several models in each line. These long guns are offered in over nine different calibers. Bolt-action rifles operate by the cycling of a bolt handle that allows for both the loading and unloading of rounds via a magazine fed system. This design allows for multi-round capacity and a level of strength that supports larger calibers. Our bolt-action rifles feature 5R rifling and a minute of angle guarantee. We offer compact rifles for shooters of smaller stature. Bolt-action rifles are the most popular firearm among hunters because of their reputation for accuracy, reliability, and relatively light-weight design.

Under our Thompson/Center Arms brand, we also offer four lines of high-quality American-made single-shot “black powder,” or “muzzleloader,” firearms. Ammunition for our black powder firearms is loaded through the muzzle rather than the breech, as is the case with conventional firearms. Our black powder firearms are highly accurate, dependable rifles configured with muzzle loading barrels for hunting. Black powder firearms are

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purchased by hunting enthusiasts, primarily for use during exclusive black powder hunting seasons for hunting big game, such as deer and elk.

We offer two models of interchangeable, single-shot firearm systems that deliver numerous firearm, barrel, and caliber configurations and finishes. These firearm systems can be purchased fully assembled or as frame assemblies that can be configured by the owner as a center-fire rifle, rim-fire rifle, shotgun, black powder firearm, or single-shot handgun for use across the entire range of big- and small-game hunting. As a result, a firearm owner can easily change barrels, stocks, and fore-ends, resulting in “one firearm for all seasons” that can be continuously modified to suit the needs and tasks of the owner for various forms of sport shooting and hunting.

With the recently announced plan to divest the Thompson/Center Arms brand, we will continue to direct focus on the hunting and long-range shooting products under the Smith & Wesson brand.

Other Products and Manufacturing Services

Our other products and manufacturing services include the following:

Parts: We sell parts to support our firearm business, including barrels and magazines that are manufactured at our facilities or purchased through third parties.

Handcuffs: We are one of the largest manufacturers of handcuffs and restraints in the United States. We fabricate these products from the highest-grade carbon or stainless steel. Our patented Lever Lock cuffs offer a double-locking system for added security and comfort, without extra tools or keys. Double heat-treated internal locks help prevent tampering, and smooth ratchets allow for swift cuffing and an extra measure of safety. We have the ability to customize handcuffs to fit customer specifications.

Suppressors: We are the nation’s oldest firearm suppressor manufacturer and an active participant in the firearm suppressor market around the world. Our Gemtech branded suppressors were the first to market in 1976 and have been involved in setting standards used by the military in suppressor testing, implementation, and safety. Our suppressors are constructed from high grade aluminum, steel, or titanium and are compatible with every major type of rimfire and centerfire pistol and centerfire rifle caliber currently on the market.

Manufacturing Services: We utilize our substantial manufacturing capabilities to provide services to third-party customers. Our manufacturing services include forging, heat treating, rapid prototyping, tooling, finishing, plating, machining, and custom plastic injection molding. We believe our manufacturing services provide us with increased flexibility and reduced supply chain risk. We also believe that business-to-business sales provide profitable revenue stream diversification and enable us to maximize capacity utilization of our manufacturing assets. We market our manufacturing services division under the Smith & Wesson and Smith & Wesson Precision Components brand names.  

 

Marketing, Sales, and Distribution

General

We go to market in a variety of ways, including two-step distribution, strategic retailers, and buying groups consisting of certain large, regional retailers, utilizing direct sales employees to service these customers. We also sell firearms directly to law enforcement agencies and manufacturing services directly to other businesses. We sell internationally primarily through distributors, which in turn sell to retail stores and government agencies.

Our top five commercial distributors in the United States accounted for a total of 43.4% and 40.8% of our net sales from continuing operations for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively. Those commercial distributors are not regionally exclusive and have many of the same dealer customers. Therefore, we believe that the loss of one or more of these distributors would not materially impact sales as the remaining distributors would be allocated additional sales.

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We sell our products worldwide. International sales accounted for 2%, 4%, and 5% of our net sales from continuing operations for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019, respectively. Our businesses own tooling that is located at various suppliers in Asia and North America.

For the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019, marketing, advertising, and promotion expenses for continuing operations were $12.5 million, $13.6 million, and $13.4 million, respectively, excluding the cost of rebates and promotions reflected in gross profit.

We market our products using a multi-faceted approach to consumers through independent dealers, large retailers, in-store retail channels, direct to consumer, and range operations using focused marketing and promotional campaigns, which include print, broadcast, and digital advertising campaigns; social and electronic media; and in-store retail merchandising strategies. We are prominently featured in vertical print media, including editorial coverage in an extensive list of leading firearms and outdoor magazines, including Guns & Ammo, American Rifleman, Shooting Times, American Handgunner, Shooting Illustrated, American Hunter, Outdoor Life, and Field & Stream. We also sponsor many outdoor television, internet, and online programs that generate significant editorial exposure. We sponsor a number of firearm safety, shooting, and hunting events and organizations.

We print various product catalogs that are distributed to our dealers and mailed directly, on a limited basis, to consumers. We also attend various trade shows, such as the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show, the NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits, the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers Show, the International Association of Chiefs of Police Show, the Association of the United States Army Show, or AUSA Show, the International Weapons Exhibition Show, or IWA Show, in Europe, and various distributor, buying group, and consumer shows.

GUNSMARTS: The SMITH & WESSON GUNSMARTS program is designed to welcome new firearm owners into the firearm community and highlight key resources available to those who have just purchased their first pistol, rifle, or revolver. As a cornerstone of the campaign, we released a new video series devoted to helping inform, educate, and excite those who have recently joined the firearm community. Hosted on YouTube, the SMITH & WESSON GUNSMARTS video series covers a comprehensive set of topics that takes the viewer from the basics of firearm safety through their first trips to the range – all in a simple, inviting manner.

Digital Marketing

We utilize our websites, including www.smith-wesson.com and www.gemtech.com to market our products and services and to provide a wide range of information regarding our company to customers, consumers, dealers, distributors, investors, and government and law enforcement agencies worldwide. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter are effective ways for us to communicate the features and benefits of our products. Our direct to consumer e-mail marketing helps us to further engage our consumers and communicate the value of our brands. We continue to invest in new digital marketing capabilities to provide best-in-class customer experiences. Our websites are designed to inform, inspire, and prepare our customers for the next step in their firearms journey. We believe our digital platform supports future sales growth and profitability.

Service and Support

We utilize a variety of methods for supporting our consumers and dealers. We have a toll-free customer service number, e-mail, and social media messaging to answer questions and resolve issues regarding our products. In addition, we offer a limited one-year warranty program and a lifetime service policy under which we repair defects in material or workmanship in our products without charge for as long as the original purchaser owns the firearm. We also maintain a number of authorized warranty centers throughout the world and provide both warranty and charge repair services at our facilities.

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Suppliers

We manufacture most of the components for our firearms, but purchase certain components and parts, including bolt carriers, rifle receivers, magazines, small parts, and rifle stocks, from third parties. We also purchase ammunition for product testing. Most of our major suppliers for our products are U.S.-based and provide materials, components, and parts, such as steel, polymer components, and metal-injected-molded components. The costs of these materials, components, and parts are at competitive rates. We have become less dependent on any particular supplier by strategically sourcing parts and raw material from multiple suppliers based on quality, cost, and risk. Whenever appropriate, critical parts and components have primary and secondary sources of supply.  We are also able to leverage our supply base to supplement our internal capacity and provide flexibility in our response to changes in market conditions. We use numerous raw materials, such as steel, wood, lead, brass, and plastics, in producing and testing our products. We have alternative sources for these raw materials.

Facilities

We have three manufacturing facilities at which we produce our products: a 575,000 square-foot facility located in Springfield, Massachusetts; two facilities totaling 44,000 square-feet located in Houlton, Maine; and a 150,000 square-foot facility located in Deep River, Connecticut. We conduct our handgun and long gun manufacturing and some of our manufacturing service activities at our Springfield facility. Our Houlton facility is a machining center only with no assembly, finishing, or small parts operations. We also produce handcuffs and other restraint devices at our Houlton facility. We use our Deep River facility for custom plastic injection molding services, rapid prototyping, and tooling. All of these facilities are ISO 9001 certified.

We perform in our own facilities most of the machining and all of the assembly, inspection, and testing of the firearms that we sell. We produce our major firearm components utilizing computer-assisted machines. Our skilled employees use sophisticated automated testing equipment to ensure the proper functioning of our firearms. Every firearm is test fired before shipment. Our Springfield and Houlton facilities are currently operating on two shift patterns; a four shift, 168 hour per week schedule and a three shift, 120 hour per week schedule.

In Columbia, Missouri, we lease a 633,000 square foot facility, which was constructed for us, completed in November 2018, and then sold and leased back by us.  This facility serves as our distribution center and operates two shifts of four 10-hour days. We sublease 59% of this facility to our former outdoor products and accessories subsidiary under the same terms as the master lease.  

We seek to minimize inventory costs through an integrated planning and production system. All facilities operate under SAP, a fully integrated ERP system. We intend to continue investing in improving our facilities and our systems in order to increase efficiency, improve information reporting, and strengthen internal controls.

Research and Development

Through our advanced products engineering departments, we enhance existing products and develop new products for all our businesses. Through our research and development personnel, we conceive, design, and develop potential products that we believe will be attractive to our customers and help address the needs, wants, and desires of our target consumer base. In so doing, we must seek to anticipate and respond to trends and shifts in consumer preferences by continually adjusting our product mix with innovative features and designs and marketing them in an effective manner. Prior to introducing any product, we assess its cost of production and delivery, estimate its potential sales volume and margin, and conduct vigorous prototype and production-quality sample testing. In fiscal 2021, 2020, and 2019, our gross spending on research activities relating to the development of new products was $7.5 million, $7.4 million, and $8.0 million, respectively. As of April 30, 2021, we had 44 employees at our various facilities engaged in ongoing research and development activities for all of our brands.

Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights

We recognize the importance of innovation and protecting our intellectual property. Accordingly, we own numerous patents related to our products. We apply for patents whenever we develop innovative new products,

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unique designs, or processes of commercial importance. We do not believe that our business is materially dependent on any single patent.

Because of the significance of our brand names, our trademarks, service marks, trade dress, and copyrights are also important to our business. We have an active global program of trademark registration, monitoring, and enforcement. We believe that our Smith & Wesson, M&P, Thompson/Center Arms, and Gemtech brands and our S&W monogram trademarks are known and recognized by the public worldwide and are important to our firearm business.  

We intend to vigorously pursue and challenge infringements of our patents, trademarks, service marks, trade dress, and copyrights, as we believe the goodwill associated with them is a cornerstone of our branding strategy.

Competition

We encounter competition in the firearms industry from both domestic and foreign manufacturers. Although some competitors manufacture a wide variety of firearms as we do, most of our competitors manufacture only certain types of firearms. We are one of the largest manufacturers of handguns, modern sporting rifles, and handcuffs in the United States and an active participant in the hunting rifle market. We compete primarily based upon innovation, quality, reliability, durability, price, performance, consumer brand awareness, and customer service and support. Our customer service organization is proactive in offering timely responses to customer inquiries. We believe we can effectively compete with all our present competitors. Our primary competitors are Ruger and Taurus in the revolver market, and Glock, Ruger, Sig Sauer, Springfield Armory, and Taurus in the pistol market. We compete primarily with Sig Sauer, Ruger, Remington, Savage, and Daniel Defense in the modern sporting rifle market and Browning, Remington, Ruger, Savage, CVA, and Traditions in the hunting rifle market.  

Customers

We sell our products through a variety of federally licensed distribution channels. Depending upon the product or service, our customers include distributors; federal, state, and municipal law enforcement agencies and officers; government and military agencies; retailers; and consumers.

We grant payment terms to most commercial customers ranging from 20 to 90 days. However, in some instances, we provide longer payment terms, particularly as it relates to our fall dating programs for hunting sales, which provides payment terms due in the fall for certain orders of hunting products received in the spring and summer.

During fiscal 2021, sales into our professional channel accounted for approximately 6.0% of our net sales, which included state and local law enforcement agencies, the federal government, and international customers. The remaining 94.0% of our net sales was through federal firearm licensees to domestic consumers.

Seasonality

Our business is seasonal with sales generally peaking in our fourth fiscal quarter, which ends April 30, as a result of most industry events and distributor shows normally scheduled during the early spring months. In addition, because of our operating schedule, which includes a summer and a winter shutdown of our manufacturing facilities, we have an increased number of operating days in our fourth fiscal quarter, which allows our shipping and production volumes to exceed other quarters. Seasonality, however, can be disrupted by external events that may drive sales or impact channel inventories, which may slow or accelerate our sales.

Governmental Regulations of Firearms

Our business is primarily regulated by the ATF, which licenses the manufacture, sale, and import of firearms and suppressors in the United States. The ATF conducts periodic audits of our facilities that hold Federal Firearms Licenses.

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There are also various state laws, regulations, and local ordinances relating to firearm characteristics, features, and sales, as well as firearm magazine capacities. Local firearm dealers must comply with state and local laws, regulations, and ordinances pertaining to firearm, suppressor, and magazine sales within their jurisdictions. We manufacture several firearm models and magazines in various capacities that comply with those laws, regulations, and ordinances for sales in those states and localities. In Massachusetts, for example, there are regulations related to the weight of the trigger pull, barrel length, material strength, and independent testing of handguns. California, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York, as well as other states, the District of Columbia, and other localities, have similar laws, ordinances, and restrictions. In addition, California and the District of Columbia require new pistols to contain a microstamping mechanism, which must be able to etch or imprint, in two locations, a microstamp array of characters that identify the make, model, and serial number of the pistols onto each cartridge case when the pistol is fired. No commercially produced firearm has utilized the microstamping process, which is considered by most to be unfeasible, and we have no plans to utilize any microstamping feature in our firearms. Therefore, we will not sell into California or the District of Columbia any pistol that is subject to the microstamping feature requirement.

Warnings and instructions concerning the safe operation of our firearms and suppressors are contained in Safety & Instruction Manuals included in all boxes in which firearms and suppressors are shipped and are also available for download from our Smith & Wesson, Thompson/Center Arms, and Gemtech websites.

Environmental Health and Safety

We are subject to numerous federal, state, and local laws and regulations that regulate the health and safety of our workforce, including those regulations monitored by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, or OSHA, the National Fire Protection Association, and the Department of Public Health. Though not exhaustive, examples of applicable regulations include confined space safety, walking and working surfaces, machine guarding, and life safety.

We are also subject to numerous federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations concerning, among other things, emissions to the air, discharges to land, surface, subsurface strata and water and the generation, handling, storage, transportation, treatment, and disposal of hazardous waste and other materials. These laws require us to make significant expenditures of both a capital and expense nature. Several of the more significant federal laws applicable to our operations include the Clean Air Act; the Clean Water Act; the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, or CERCLA; and the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, or RCRA.

We are required to remediate hazardous waste at our facilities. Currently, we own a designated site in Springfield, Massachusetts that contains two release areas, which are the focus of remediation projects as part of the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, or MCP. The MCP provides a structured environment for the voluntary remediation of regulated releases. We may be required to remove hazardous waste or remediate the alleged effects of hazardous substances on the environment associated with past disposal practices at sites not owned by us. We have received notice that we are a potentially responsible party from the Environmental Protection Agency and/or individual states under CERCLA or a state equivalent at two sites.

In our efforts to satisfy our environmental responsibilities and to comply with environmental laws and regulations, we have established, and periodically update, policies relating to the environmental standards of performance for our operations. We have in place programs that monitor compliance with various federal, state, and local environmental regulations. However, in the normal course of our manufacturing operations, we are subject to governmental proceedings and orders pertaining to waste disposal, air emissions, and water discharges from our operations into the environment. We regularly incur substantial capital and operating costs to comply with environmental laws, including remediation of known environmental conditions which we fund through cash flows from operations. We spent $1.3 million in fiscal 2021 on environmental compliance, consisting of $846,000 on disposal fees and containers, $346,000 for remediation, $65,000 for DEP analysis and air filtration fees, and $63,000 on reporting and compliance. We spent $1.2 million in fiscal 2020 on environmental compliance, consisting of $918,000 for disposal fees and containers, $237,000 for remediation, and $60,000 for DEP analysis and air filtration fees.

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In the normal course of our business, we may become involved in various proceedings relating to environmental health and safety matters, and we are currently engaged in an environmental investigation and remediation. Our manufacturing facilities are located on properties with a long history of industrial use, including the use of hazardous substances. We have identified soil and groundwater contamination at our Springfield, Massachusetts plant that we continue to monitor and remediate, as appropriate. Based on the situation, an environmental reserve may be recorded based upon currently enacted laws and regulations, currently available facts, experience in remediation efforts, existing technology, and the ability of other potentially responsible parties or contractually liable parties to pay the allocated portions of any environmental obligations. As of April 30, 2021, we do not have an open environmental reserve recorded in our consolidated balance sheet.

Based on information known to us, we do not expect current environmental regulations or environmental proceedings and claims to have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial position, results of operations, or cash flows. However, it is not possible to predict with certainty the impact on us of future environmental compliance requirements or of the cost of resolution of future environmental health and safety proceedings and claims, in part because the scope of the remedies that may be required is not certain, liability under federal environmental laws is joint and several in nature, and environmental laws and regulations are subject to modification and changes in interpretation. There can be no assurance that additional or changing environmental regulation will not become more burdensome in the future and that any such development would not have a material adverse effect on our company.

Human Capital

Creating a positive work environment for our employees is critical to our ability to successfully execute our strategy. We are committed to a strong, healthy culture focused on respect for all employees, creating and sustaining a family atmosphere, united under a clear vision, with the understanding of each function and individual’s responsibility for team results, collective pride in our company and our industry, and shared rewards for results.  In order to ensure that we embody our values and that our culture remains healthy and strong, we place significant focus on our human resources.

 

Training & Development

 

Attraction, retention, and development of employees is critical to our success.  We offer training and development programs to encourage advancement from within, including the following:

 

tuition reimbursement for up to 100% of an employee’s advanced degree;

 

computer numerical control (CNC) machine apprentice training at a local community college in conjunction with a state-funded program;

 

toolmaker apprentice training in conjunction with a state-funded program;

 

waste water treatment operator training leading to licensure;

 

leadership effectiveness training for manufacturing managers in conjunction with a state-funded program;

 

reimbursement for continuing professional education for our professionally licensed employees; and

 

other in-house and cross-functional training to aid with career advancement.

We believe that this training and development leads to more valuable contributions and satisfaction for our employees within their existing roles and also positions employees for roles they aspire to attain.  In addition, we offer a “high potential” development program for top performers with the intention that they can be developed, mentored, and ultimately promoted into higher level roles.  Finally, we conduct quarterly training for all employees on various topics, such as sexual harassment, bribery, anti-corruption, cybersecurity, phishing, and insider trading, among others.

 

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Equal Opportunity

 

We are committed to hiring qualified candidates without regard to race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, genetic information, or any other status. This commitment extends to all levels of our organization, including within senior management and our Board of Directors. Our Talent Acquisition team focuses on ensuring that our workforce represents society as a whole and that our business is open and welcoming to everyone.      

As of April 30, 2021, our workforce consisted of:

 

76% male and 24% female;

 

50% female named executive officers;

 

9% under 25 years old, 27% between 25-35 years old, 24% between 35-45 years old, 18% between 45-55 years old, 18% between 55-65 years old, and 4% over 65 years old; and

 

59% Caucasian, 27% Hispanic/Latino/Latina, 10% Black, 2% undisclosed, and 2% that identify as two or more races.

Our Talent Acquisition team emphasizes recruiting and retaining a talented and diverse workforce with special focus on hiring veterans, whenever possible.  Voluntary turnover is less than 2%, and our average tenure is 7.6 years.

We contract a third party to review compensation practices on an annual basis to ensure we pay all employees equitably.

 

Health and Safety

 

Our Employee Assistance Program is supplemented by Cigna behavioral health tools in order to support employees’ mental as well as physical health needs.

 

As an essential business, we pride ourselves on having safely and effectively continued running our operations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. At the start of the pandemic, we increased pay for those employees who continued to report to work on-site to keep our business running. These employees turned out record quarters during fiscal 2021, despite the challenges we all faced both at work and at home.  

 

We have a documented education and training plan to ensure employees are well trained on safety measures throughout the organization.  We offer more than 55 different types of training, including lecture, classroom setting, and hands-on training to ensure our employees have the knowledge needed to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of others.  The success of our training program has allowed us to maintain a low level of safety claims and reduce lost work hours. Our calendar year 2020 and 2019 total recordable incident rate (TRIR) of 1.1 and 1.3, respectively, and lost time incident rate (LTIR) of 0.4 for both years compares favorably to the latest OSHA industry data. According to OSHA, for our NAICS industry code, the calendar year 2019 TRIR was 2.1 and the LTIR was 0.8.

 

Total Rewards

 

Competitive pay and benefits have always been a highlight of our employee experience. We offer comprehensive benefit programs to our employees that allow them flexibility of choice through our Total Rewards framework of pay and service recognition, health and wellness, financial well-being, work/life balance, culture and community, and learning and development.

 

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We are committed to ensuring that all of our employees are paid a fair wage.  To that end, we offer generous wages and benefits to our employees, including the following:

 

a comprehensive medical, dental, and vision plan for our employees and their families, for which we pay between 87% and 93% of the total cost;

 

a 401(k) plan with a company match of up to 3% of the first 6% contributed by the employee;

 

a profit-sharing plan, where the employee can earn up to 15% of their eligible earnings based on company profits;

 

twelve annual holidays and a paid time off program, including paid sick and vacation time;

 

paid and unpaid leaves of absence, including paid family and medical leave;

 

flexible spending and health savings accounts;

 

life and disability insurance coverage;

 

employee stock purchase plan;

 

a dedicated health and wellness clinic for employees and their dependents;

 

on-site cafeteria and fitness center;

 

Employee Assistance Programs;

 

product discounts; and

 

license-to-carry subsidies.

Annual increases and incentive compensation are based on merit, which is communicated to employees upon hire and documented through our talent management program as part of the annual performance review process.

Headcount

As of May 31, 2021, we had 2,240 employees, including 4 part-time employees. None of our employees are represented by a union in collective bargaining with us. Of our employees, 24% have 10 or more years of service with our company and 5% have greater than 25 years of service with our company. We believe that our employee relations are good and that the high quality of our employee base is instrumental to our success.

Information About our Executive Officers

The following table sets forth certain information regarding our executive officers:

 

Name

 

Age

 

Position

Mark P. Smith

 

45

 

President and Chief Executive Officer

Deana L. McPherson

 

50

 

Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer, and Assistant Secretary

Robert J. Cicero

 

54

 

Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and Secretary

Susan J. Cupero

 

61

 

Vice President, Sales

 

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Mark P. Smith has served as President and Chief Executive Officer since August 2020. Mr. Smith served as Co-President and Co-Chief Executive Officer from January 2020 to August 2020.  Mr. Smith served as President, Manufacturing Services of our company and as President of Manufacturing Services for Smith & Wesson Sales Company (formerly known as American Outdoor Brands Sales Company and Smith & Wesson Corp.), a subsidiary of our company, from March 2016 until January 2020. Mr. Smith served as Vice President of Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management from May 2011 until March 2016 and served as Vice President of Supply Chain Management from May 2010 until May 2011. He was Director Supply Chain Solutions for Alvarez & Marsal Business Consulting, LLC from April 2007 until April 2010. Mr. Smith held various positions for Ecolab, Inc., a developer and marketer of programs, products, and services for the hospitality, foodservice, healthcare, industrial, and energy markets, from March 2001 until April 2007, including Program Manager, Acquisition Integration Manager, Senior Manufacturing Planner, Plant Engineer, and Senior Production / Quality Supervisor. Mr. Smith was a Production Supervisor for Bell Aromatics, a manufacturer of flavors and fragrances, from August 1999 until March 2001.

Deana L. McPherson has served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer, and Assistant Secretary since August 2020. Ms. McPherson served as Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer, Corporate Controller, and Assistant Treasurer from September 2017 to August 2020. Ms. McPherson served as Vice President, Corporate Controller, and Assistant Treasurer from November 2009 to September 2017. Ms. McPherson served as Corporate Controller from June 2007 to November 2009. From November 2001 to June 2007, Ms. McPherson held a number of increasingly responsible positions for Wood Group PLC, a $5.0 billion international energy services company, including, at her departure, Vice President of Finance for the Heavy Industrial Turbines division.  From November 1995 to November 2001, she served as Accounting Manager of FiberMark DSI, Inc. (formerly Rexam DSI, Inc.), a producer of specialty fiber-based materials in the paper and packaging industry. From June 1992 to November 1995 she was employed as an auditor at Deloitte & Touche LLP. Ms. McPherson is a Certified Public Accountant registered with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a Chartered Global Management Accountant.

Robert J. Cicero has served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of our company since June 2017, Vice President and General Counsel of our company since October 2011 and Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary since April 2012. Mr. Cicero was Associate General Counsel, Compliance Officer and Assistant Secretary of Chemtura Corporation, a global specialty chemicals company, from March 2009 until October 2011; Assistant General Counsel from July 2005 until March 2009; and Chief Counsel from September 2003 until July 2005. He was an Associate in the Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits Group for the law firm of Shearman & Sterling LLP from May 2000 until September 2003; an Associate in the Labor and Employment Section for the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP, from May 1998 until May 2000; and an Associate in the Labor and Employment Section for the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP from June 1996 until May 1998. Mr. Cicero was an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the New York City Office of the Corporation Counsel from September 1993 until June 1996.

Susan J. Cupero has served as Vice President of Sales of our company since March 2021.  Ms. Cupero has held increasingly higher positions with our company during her 42 years of service, including Director of Independent Distributors from June 20, 2017 until assuming her current position, and Director of Sales Administration from March 2015 until June 2017.

 

Item 1A. Risk Factors:

 

The following summarizes material risks of purchasing or owning our common stock.  Additional unknown risks may also impair our financial performance and business operations. Our business, financial condition, and operating results may be materially and adversely affected by the nature and impact of these risks.  In such case, the market value of our common stock could be detrimentally affected, and investors may lose part or all of the value of their investment.  You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below.

We have grouped these risk factors into the following general categories:

 

Risks relating to health, economic, social, political, legislative, and regulatory factors.

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Risks relating to manufacturing, raw materials and component supply, product development and performance, customer demand, and brand recognition.

 

Risks related to legal proceedings, product recalls, and other product liabilities.

 

Risks relating to intellectual property, information systems, and cybersecurity.

 

Risks relating to certain business matters and securities markets.

 

Risks relating to the spin-off of our outdoor products and accessories business.

Risks Relating to Health, Economic, Social, Political, Legislative, and Regulatory Factors

We are dependent on the proper functioning of our critical facilities, our supply chain, and distribution networks as well as the financial stability of our customers, all of which could be negatively impacted by the coronavirus, or COVID-19, in a manner that could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, or operating results.

COVID-19 continues to impact worldwide economic activity. The virus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in 2020. The impact of this pandemic has been, and will likely continue to be, extensive in many aspects of society, which has resulted in, and could continue to result in, significant disruptions to the global economy, as well as businesses and capital markets around the world. The facilities of certain of our contract manufacturers and other suppliers are subject to the same and additional risks, especially since some of them are located in Europe and India, where the pandemic remains a significant concern. At this point, the extent to which COVID-19 may impact our results is uncertain, but it could negatively impact our business. A reduction or interruption in any of our manufacturing processes could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition, and cash flows. The impact of COVID-19 on economic activity, and its effect on our manufacturing facility, supply chain, distribution networks, and our customers remains uncertain at this time and could have a material adverse effect on our results, especially to the extent these effects continue and/or increase in severity over an extended period of time.

Our performance is influenced by a variety of economic, social, political, legislative, and regulatory factors.

Our performance is influenced by a variety of economic, social, political, legislative, and regulatory factors. General economic conditions and consumer spending patterns can negatively impact our operating results. Economic uncertainty, unfavorable employment levels, declines in consumer confidence, increases in consumer debt levels, increased commodity prices, and other economic factors may affect consumer spending on discretionary items and adversely affect the demand for our products. Economic conditions also affect governmental, political, and budgetary policies. As a result, economic conditions also can have an effect on the sale of our products to law enforcement, government, and military customers. The impact of weak consumer credit markets, corporate restructurings, layoffs, high unemployment rates, declines in the value of investments and residential real estate, higher fuel prices, and increases in federal and state taxation can also negatively affect our results of operations.

Social, political, and other factors also can affect our performance. Concerns about presidential, congressional, and state elections and legislature and policy shifts resulting from those elections can affect the demand for our products. In addition, speculation surrounding increased gun control at the federal, state, and local level and heightened fears of terrorism and crime can affect consumer demand for our products. Often, such concerns result in an increase in near-term consumer demand and subsequent softening of demand when such concerns subside. Inventory levels in excess of customer demand may negatively impact operating results.  

Federal and state legislatures frequently consider legislation relating to the regulation of firearms, including amendment or repeal of existing legislation. Existing laws may also be affected by future judicial rulings and interpretations. These possible changes to existing legislation or the enactment of new legislation may seek to restrict the makeup of a firearm, including limitations on magazine capacity; mandate the use of certain technologies in a firearm; remove existing legal defenses in lawsuits; or ban the sale and, in some cases, the ownership of various types of firearms and accessories. If such restrictive changes to legislation develop, we could find it difficult, expensive, or even impossible to comply with them, impeding new product development and distribution of existing products. In addition, gun-control activists may succeed in imposing restrictions or an outright ban on private firearm ownership. Such restrictions or bans could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition.

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Our business is subject to extensive regulation.

Our business, as well as the business of all producers and marketers of firearms and firearm parts, is subject to numerous federal, state, local, and foreign laws, regulations, and protocols, including the rules and regulations of the ATF. If we fail to comply with ATF rules and regulations, the ATF may limit our activities or growth, fine us, or ultimately put us out of business.

The manufacture, sale, and purchase of firearms are subject to extensive federal, state, and local governmental regulation. The primary federal laws are the National Firearms Act of 1934, or NFA, the Gun Control Act of 1968, or GCA, and the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, or AECA, which have been amended from time to time. The NFA severely restricts the private ownership of fully automatic weapons and heavily regulates other firearms defined in that law and accompanying regulations, including firearm suppressors. The GCA places certain restrictions on the interstate sales of firearms, among other things. Most of our products are governed by U.S. Department of Commerce, and are regulated by Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, or BIS, under the Export Administration Regulations, or EAR. A limited amount of our products are governed by the U.S. Department of State and are subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, or ITAR. We are required to obtain U.S. government authorization for exports, including licensure or other similar authorization prior to engaging in international transactions. The U.S. Government has discretion as to whether to grant a license. In addition, Congress may take action to block a proposed sale of firearms that are export controlled by the Department of State valued at $1 million or higher. Consequently, we may not be able to obtain export licenses, or to complete profitable contracts as a result of political or other reasons that are outside our control. Failure to receive required licenses or authorizations or the termination or suspension of our export privileges could have an adverse effect on our business. Export control laws also impact who is allowed to work in our facilities in most positions. Further, because our manufacturing process includes certain toxic, flammable, and explosive chemicals, we are subject to the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, as administered by the Department of Homeland Security, which requires that we take additional reporting and security measures related to our manufacturing process.

In addition, like many other manufacturers, we are subject to compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the data privacy laws of Massachusetts and other jurisdictions, and many other regulations surrounding employment law, environmental law, taxation, and consumer protection.

In addition to federal requirements, state and local laws and regulations may place additional restrictions or prohibitions on firearm ownership and transfer. These laws and regulations vary significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Some states or other governmental entities have enacted, and others are considering, legislation restricting or prohibiting the ownership, use, or sale of certain categories of firearms, firearm suppressors, ammunition, ammunition feeding devices, or all of these products. Several states require internal or external locking mechanisms for firearms sold in their jurisdictions. Some states mandate, or are considering mandating, certain design features on safety or other grounds. Such legislation could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition.

 

Existing industry protections may be repealed or affected by judicial rulings. For example, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005, or the PLCAA, was enacted by Congress in 2005 in order to protect firearms manufacturers and dealers from liability when their legally manufactured and lawfully sold products are later used in criminal acts.  The PLCAA (or the state law equivalent of the PLCAA) could be repealed or amended, and legislation has been introduced in Congress to repeal the law. The PLCAA (or the state law equivalent of the PLCAA) may also be affected by future judicial rulings and interpretations. In Soto v. Bushmaster Firearms International, LLC, a case arising from the mass shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the Connecticut Court of Appeals allowed claimants to pursue state claims for unfair trade practices and potentially other theories of liability notwithstanding the immunity granted to firearm manufacturers under the PLCAA. If the PLCAA (or the state law equivalent of the PLCAA) were repealed, amended, or reinterpreted, firearms manufacturers could face a significant increase in litigation, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition.

Compliance with all of these laws, regulations, and protocols is costly and time consuming. Although we make substantial efforts to ensure compliance with the many regulations to which we are subject, inadvertent violation of any of these laws, regulations, and protocols could cause us to incur fines and penalties and could also

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lead to restrictions on our ability to manufacture and sell our products and services and to import or export the products that we sell. In addition, these laws, regulations, and protocols, as well as their interpretation by courts and regulatory authorities, may change at any time. There can be no assurance that such changes to the laws, regulations, and protocols or to their interpretations will not adversely affect our business.

Environmental laws and regulations may impact our business.

We are subject to numerous federal, state, and local laws that regulate or otherwise relate to the protection of the environment, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, CERCLA, and the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by RCRA. CERCLA, RCRA, and related state laws subject us to the potential obligation to remove or mitigate the environmental effects of the disposal or release of certain pollutants at our manufacturing facilities and at third-party or formerly owned sites at which contaminants generated by us may be located. This requires us to make expenditures of both a capital and expense nature.

In our efforts to satisfy our environmental, health, and safety responsibilities and to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, we maintain policies relating to the environmental, health, and safety standards for our operations and conduct programs to monitor compliance with various environmental regulations. However, in the normal course of our manufacturing operations, we may become subject to governmental proceedings and orders pertaining to waste disposal, air emissions, and water discharges into the environment. We believe, based on the information available to us, that we are in substantial compliance with applicable environmental regulations.

From a remediation perspective, we may not have identified all existing contamination on our properties, and we cannot predict whether our operations will cause contamination in the future. As a result, we could incur additional costs to clean up contamination that exceed the amount of our reserves. We will periodically review the probable and reasonably estimable environmental costs in order to update the environmental reserves. Furthermore, it is not possible to predict with certainty the impact on us of future environmental, health, and safety compliance requirements or of the cost of resolution of future regulatory proceedings and claims, in part because the scope of the remedies that may be required is not certain, liability under federal environmental laws is joint and several in nature, and environmental health and safety laws and regulations are subject to modification and changes in interpretation. Additional or changing environmental health and safety regulation may become burdensome in the future, and any such development could have an adverse effect on us.

We face risks associated with international activities, including related to compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or other applicable anti-corruption legislation.

Political and economic conditions abroad may result in a reduction of or inhibition of our growth in our sales in numerous foreign countries and our purchase of certain accessories and components from certain countries in Asia and Europe, including China, Taiwan, and Italy. Protectionist trade legislation in either the United States or foreign countries, such as a change in the current tariff structures, export or import compliance laws, or other trade policies, could reduce our ability to sell our products in foreign markets, the ability of foreign customers to purchase our products, and our ability to import components, parts, and products from foreign suppliers. Our efforts to comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or other applicable anti-corruption laws and regulations may limit our international business activities, necessitate the implementation of certain processes and compliance programs, and subject us to enforcement actions or penalties for noncompliance. Both the U.S. and foreign governments have increased their oversight and enforcement activities in this area in recent years, and we expect applicable agencies to continue to increase such activities in the future.  

Our foreign sales and purchases of certain components also create a number of logistical and communication challenges. These activities also expose us to various economic, political, and other risks, including the following:

 

compliance with U.S. and local laws and regulatory requirements, including adverse changes in those laws and requirements;

 

transportation delays or interruptions and other effects of less developed infrastructures;

 

foreign exchange rate fluctuations;

 

limitations on imports and exports;

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imposition of restrictions on currency conversion or the transfer of funds;

 

the possibility of appropriation of our assets without just compensation;

 

taxes, tariffs, and duties;

 

the burdens and costs of compliance with a variety of foreign laws; and

 

political or economic instability in countries in which we conduct business, including possible terrorist acts.

We currently maintain an operation in Belgium. As a result, we are exposed to risks in the countries in which we operate, including political and economic changes or volatility, geopolitical regional conflicts, terrorist activity, and political unrest, which could negatively affect our international operations.

Protectionist tariffs and trade wars could harm our business.

The federal government has, at times, put into place tariffs and other trade restrictions with other countries, including limiting trade and/or imposing tariffs on imports from such countries. In addition, other countries have, at times, either threatened or put into place retaliatory tariffs of their own.

We are currently subject to tariffs on certain of our products. Increases in protectionist trade legislation in either the United States or foreign countries, such as a change in the current tariff structures, export or import compliance laws, or other trade policies, could reduce our ability to sell our products in foreign markets, the ability of foreign customers to purchase our products, and our ability to import products, components, and raw materials from foreign suppliers. The United States has imposed and threatened to impose further tariffs on a variety of products and materials imported from various foreign countries, including firearm components. Tariff policies of the United States may result in retaliatory actions by affected countries, potentially resulting in trade wars and increased costs for goods imported into the United States. Any tariffs that result in increased costs or unavailability of imported products or components that we obtain for resale from foreign suppliers or raw materials used in the production of our products could require us to increase the prices of the products we sell or result in lower gross margins on such products if we are unable to increase the price of such products to our customers. Furthermore, increased pricing on these products could lead to lower consumer demand.

These tariffs have the potential to significantly increase the cost of our products. In such a case, there can be no assurance that we will be able to shift manufacturing and supply agreements to non-impacted countries, including the United States, to reduce the effects of the tariffs. As a result, we may suffer margin erosion or be required to raise our prices, which may result in the loss of customers, negatively impact our operating results, or otherwise harm our business. In addition, the imposition of tariffs on products that we export to international markets could make such products more expensive compared to those of our competitors if we pass related additional costs on to our customers, which may also result in the loss of customers, negatively impact our operating results, or otherwise harm our business.  

Risks Relating to Manufacturing, Raw Materials and Component Supply, Product Development and Performance, Customer Demand, and Brand Recognition

We must continue to introduce new products that are successful in the marketplace.

Our success depends on our ability to continue to conceive, design, produce or source, and market in a timely manner a continuing stream of innovative new products that appeal to consumers and achieve market acceptance and drive customer satisfaction and loyalty. The development of new products is a lengthy and costly process. Any new products that we develop and introduce to the marketplace may be unsuccessful in achieving customer or market acceptance or may achieve success that does not meet our expectations for a variety of reasons, including delays in introduction, unfavorable cost comparisons with alternative products, unfavorable customer or consumer acceptance, and unfavorable performance. Our business, operating results, and financial condition could be adversely affected if we fail to introduce new products that consumers want to buy or we incur significant expenses related to proposed new products that prove to be unsuccessful for any reason.

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Our manufacturing facilities are critical to our success.

Our Springfield, Massachusetts facility is critical to our success, as we currently produce most of our products at this facility.

The Springfield facility also houses our principal research, development, engineering, design, shipping, sales, marketing, finance, and management functions. Any event that causes a disruption of the operation of this facility for even a relatively short period of time would adversely affect our ability to produce and ship many of our products and to provide service to our customers. We frequently make certain changes in our manufacturing operations to modernize the facility and associated equipment and systems as a result of the age of the facility and the need to introduce certain efficiencies in manufacturing and other processes in order to produce our anticipated volume of products in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. We anticipate that we will continue to incur significant capital and other expenditures with respect to the facility, but we may not be successful in continuing to improve efficiencies.

We also depend on our Houlton, Maine and Deep River, Connecticut facilities. Our Houlton facility is used primarily as a machining facility for our firearms as well as our handcuffs and restraints, and our Deep River facility is used primarily for custom plastic injection molding services, rapid prototyping, and tooling. A disruption in the activities of these facilities could adversely affect our firearm manufacturing operations.

We depend on our new distribution center.

We are extremely dependent on our new distribution center in Columbia, Missouri. The facility includes computer controlled and automated equipment. As a result, the operations of the facility are complicated and may be subject to a number of risks related to security or computer viruses, the proper operation of software and hardware, electronic or power interruptions, and other system failures. In addition, because substantially all of our products are distributed from one location, our operations could be interrupted by labor difficulties, extreme or severe weather conditions, or by floods, fires, or other natural disasters near our facility. Our ability to successfully operate the facility depends on numerous factors, including the proper design of the facility, the ability to employ an adequate number of skilled workers to operate the facility, the design and operation of computer controlled and automated systems, the design of software systems to operate the facility, and the integration of the facility into our ERP system. Difficulties or delays in performing any of these critical tasks could negatively impact our operating results.

Our ability to meet customer expectations, manage inventory, complete sales, and achieve objectives for operating profits will depend on our proper operation of the facility.

We rely on our supply chain for our production and any interruptions in these arrangements could disrupt our ability to fill our customers’ orders.

 

We utilize contract manufacturers for a portion of our production requirements, particularly during periods of very high customer demand, in order to increase our manufacturing capacity and reduce our capital expenditures for facilities that may not always operate at peak capacity.  Qualifying new contract manufacturers is time consuming and may result in unforeseen disruptions in our manufacturing and operations. The loss of our relationships with our contract manufacturers or their inability to conduct their services for us as anticipated in terms of capacity, cost, quality, and timeliness could adversely affect our ability to fill customer orders in accordance with required delivery, quality, and performance requirements.  If this were to occur, the resulting decline in revenue could harm our business.

The ability of our suppliers to effectively satisfy our production requirements could also be impacted by their financial difficulty or damage to their operations caused by fire, pandemic, such as the current coronavirus pandemic, terrorist attack, natural disaster, or other events. The failure of any supplier to perform to our expectations could result in supply shortages or delays for certain products and product components and harm our business. If we experience significantly increased demand, or if we need to replace an existing supplier as a result of a lack of performance, we may be unable to supplement or replace our production capacity on a timely basis or on terms that are acceptable to us, which may increase our costs, reduce our margins, and harm our ability to deliver our products on time. For certain of our products, it may take a significant amount of time to identify and qualify a supplier that has the capability and resources to meet our product specifications in sufficient volume and satisfy our service and quality control standards. Political and economic instability in countries in which foreign suppliers are located, the

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financial and managerial instability of suppliers, the failure by suppliers to meet our standards, failure to meet production deadlines, insufficient quality control, problems with production capacity, labor problems experienced by our suppliers, the availability of raw materials to our suppliers, product quality issues, currency exchange rates, transport availability and cost, inflation, and other factors relating to suppliers and the countries in which they are located are beyond our control. Although we have insurance to cover potential loss from most of our suppliers for these events, we could experience losses in excess of our insured limits and any claims for various losses could be denied. In addition, failure to take adequate steps to mitigate the likelihood or potential impact of such events, or to effectively manage such events if they occur, could have a material adverse effect on us, as well as require additional resources to restore our supply chain.

The capacity of our contract manufacturers to produce our products also depends upon the cost and availability of raw materials. Our contract manufacturers and other suppliers may not be able to obtain sufficient supply of raw materials, which could result in delays in deliveries of our products by our manufacturers or increased costs. Any shortage of raw materials or inability of a manufacturer to produce or ship our products in a timely manner, or at all, could impair our ability to ship orders of our products in a cost-efficient, timely manner and could cause us to miss the delivery requirements of our customers. As a result, we could experience cancellations of orders, refusals to accept deliveries, or reductions in our prices and margins, any of which could harm our financial performance, reputation, and operating results.

We have occasionally received, and may receive in the future, product deliveries from suppliers that fail to conform to our quality control standards. In such circumstances, our inability to sell those products could have a negative effect on our net sales and increase our administrative and shipping costs if we are unable to obtain replacement products in a timely manner.

Our operating results could be materially harmed if we are unable to forecast demand for our products accurately.

We often schedule internal production and place orders for product components and raw materials with third-party suppliers before receiving firm orders from our customers. If we fail to accurately forecast customer demand, we may experience excess inventory levels or a shortage of products to deliver to our customers. Factors that could affect our ability to accurately forecast demand for our products include the following:

 

our failure to accurately forecast customer acceptance of new products;

 

an increase or decrease in consumer demand for our products or for the products of our competitors;

 

new product introductions by competitors;

 

our relationships with customers;

 

general market conditions and other factors, which may result in cancellations of orders or a reduction or increase in the rate of reorders placed by customers;

 

general market conditions, economic conditions, and consumer confidence levels, which could reduce demand for discretionary items, such as our products; and

 

the domestic political environment, including debates over the regulation of various consumer products, such as firearms.

Inventory levels in excess of customer demand may result in inventory write-downs and the sale of excess inventory at discounted prices, which could have an adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition. If we underestimate demand for our products, we and our third-party suppliers may not be able to produce products to meet customer demand, and this could result in delays in the shipment of products and lost revenues, as well as damage to our reputation and customer relationships. We may not be able to manage inventory levels successfully to meet future order and reorder requirements.

It is difficult to align our capacity with our demand.

From time to time, we have been capacity constrained and have been unable to satisfy on a timely basis the demand for some of our products. During the last several fiscal years, we have improved our manufacturing

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productivity by adding capacity, increasing daily production quantities, increasing operational availability of equipment, reducing machinery down time, extending machinery useful life, and increasing manufacturing efficiency. Future significant increases in consumer demand for our products or increased business from law enforcement or military agencies may require us to expand further our manufacturing capacity, particularly through the purchase of additional manufacturing equipment and the addition of manufacturing space. We may not be able to increase our capacity in time to satisfy increases in demand that may occur from time-to-time, and we may not have adequate financial resources to increase capacity to meet demand. Capacity constraints may prevent us from satisfying customer orders and result in a loss of market share to competitors that are not capacity constrained. At other times we may suffer excess capacity and increased overhead costs, particularly if we increase our capacity to meet actual or anticipated demand and that demand decreases or does not materialize. Various actions that we have taken in the past, such as outsourcing a portion of our production and reducing our expenses, enable us to mitigate the effect of reduced product demand, but such actions cannot totally mitigate the effect of reduced product demand.

Shortages of and price increases for components, parts, raw materials, and other supplies may delay or reduce our sales and increase our costs.

Although we manufacture most of the components for our firearms, we purchase certain components and parts from third parties, including bolt carriers, rifle receivers, magazines, slides, small parts, barrels, and rifle stocks. We also purchase ammunition for product testing.

Most of our major suppliers for our products are U.S.-based and provide materials, components, and parts, such as raw steel, polymer components, and metal-injected-molded components. We have become increasingly dependent on a small number of key vendors that supply components and parts for our firearms as a result of our decision to increase our manufacturing flexibility by using third parties that can supplement our internal capacity to better react to changes in market conditions. We also use numerous raw materials that we purchase from third-party suppliers in producing and testing our products, including steel, wood, lead, brass, and plastics. Inflationary pressures, such as the U.S. is currently experiencing, could result in increases in the cost of the components, parts, raw materials, and other supplies necessary for the production of our products. The costs of these components, parts, raw materials, and other supplies are at competitive rates, and we typically have short-term commitments from our suppliers. In addition, uncertainties related to governmental fiscal policies, including increased duties, tariffs, or other trade restrictions, could increase the prices of components, parts, raw materials, and other supplies we purchase from third-party suppliers. As a result, if we are unable to respond to cost increases for these supplies with selling price increases, our earnings could be adversely impacted.

Our inability to obtain sufficient quantities of components, parts, raw materials, and other supplies from independent sources necessary for the production of our products could result in reduced or delayed sales or lost orders. Any delay in or loss of sales could adversely impact our operating results. Many of the components, parts, raw materials, and other supplies used in the production of our products are available only from a limited number of suppliers. In most cases, we do not have long-term supply contracts with these suppliers. As a result, we could be subject to increased costs, supply interruptions, and difficulties in obtaining materials and finished products. Our suppliers also may encounter difficulties or increased costs in obtaining the materials necessary to produce the components and parts that we use in our products. The time lost in seeking and acquiring new sources or the inability to locate alternative sources of comparable quality at an acceptable price, or at all, could negatively impact our net sales and profitability. Shortages of ammunition also can adversely affect the demand for our products.

Our business is highly dependent upon our brand recognition and reputation, and the failure to maintain or strengthen our brand recognition or reputation would likely have a material adverse effect on our business.

Our brand recognition and reputation are critical aspects of our business. We believe that maintaining and further enhancing our brands is critical to retaining existing customers and attracting new customers. We also believe that the importance of our brand recognition and reputation will continue to increase as competition in our markets continues to develop.

We anticipate that our advertising, marketing, and promotional efforts will increase in the foreseeable future as we continue to seek to enhance our brand recognition and the consumer demand for our products. Historically, we have relied on print and electronic media advertising to increase consumer awareness of our brands to increase

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purchasing intent and conversation. We anticipate that we will increasingly rely on other forms of media advertising, including social media and digital marketing. Our future growth and profitability will depend in large part upon the effectiveness and efficiency of our advertising, promotion, public relations, and marketing programs. These brand promotion activities may not yield increased revenue and the efficacy of these activities will depend on a number of factors, including our ability to do the following:

 

determine the appropriate creative message and media mix and markets for advertising, marketing, and promotional expenditures;

 

select the right markets, media, and specific media vehicles in which to advertise;

 

identify the most effective and efficient level of spending in each market, media, and specific media vehicle; and

 

effectively manage marketing costs, including creative and media expenses, in order to maintain acceptable customer acquisition costs.

Increases in the pricing of one or more of our marketing and advertising channels could increase our marketing and advertising expenses or cause us to choose less expensive but possibly less effective marketing and advertising channels. If we implement new marketing and advertising strategies, we may incur significantly higher costs than our current costs, which in turn could adversely affect our operating results. Implementing new marketing and advertising strategies also could increase the risk of devoting significant capital and other resources to endeavors that do not prove to be cost effective. We also may incur marketing and advertising expenses significantly in advance of the time we anticipate recognizing revenue associated with such expenses, and our marketing and advertising expenditures may not generate sufficient levels of brand awareness and conversation or result in increased revenue. Even if our marketing and advertising expenses result in increased revenue, the increase might not offset our related expenditures. If we are unable to maintain our marketing and advertising channels on cost-effective terms or replace or supplement existing marketing and advertising channels with similarly or more effective channels, our marketing and advertising expenses could increase substantially, our customer base could be adversely affected, and our business, operating results, financial condition, and reputation could suffer.

In addition, we may determine that certain of our products and brands benefit from endorsements and support from particular sporting enthusiasts, athletes, or other celebrities, and those products and brands may become personally associated with those individuals. As a result, sales of the endorsed products could be materially and adversely affected if any of those individuals’ images, reputations, or popularity were to be negatively impacted.

Poor product quality or performance could adversely affect our operating results and reputation.

Poor product quality or performance could adversely affect our operating results and reputation. We generally provide a limited one-year, three-year, limited-lifetime, or full-lifetime warranty and a lifetime-service policy to the original purchaser of our new firearm products

While we believe we have a strong track record of developing, manufacturing, and selling high-quality products, from time to time, we have experienced manufacturing and design issues with respect to some of our firearms and have initiated product recalls and safety alerts in the past. Based on the volume of products we have shipped into the market, any future recall, safety alerts, or product liability claims could harm our reputation, cause us to lose business, and cause us to incur significant warranty, support, and repair costs.

The failure to manage our growth could adversely affect our operations.

To continue to expand our business and strengthen our competitive position, we must make significant investments in systems, equipment, facilities, and personnel. In addition, we may commit significant funds to increase our sales, marketing, information technology, and research and development efforts in order to expand our business. As a result of the increase in fixed costs and operating expenses, our failure to increase sufficiently our net sales to offset these increased costs could adversely affect our operating results.

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The failure to manage our growth effectively could adversely affect our operations. Managing our planned growth effectively may require us to:

 

enhance our operational, financial, and management systems;

 

enhance our facilities and purchase additional equipment, which will include ongoing modernization and expansion of our Springfield, Massachusetts, Deep River, Connecticut, and Houlton, Maine facilities; and

 

successfully hire, train, and motivate additional employees, including additional personnel for our technological, sales, and marketing efforts.

The expansion of our products and customer base may result in increases in our overhead and selling expenses. We also may be required to increase staffing and other expenses as well as our expenditures on capital equipment and leasehold improvements in order to meet the demand for our products. Any increase in expenditures in anticipation of future sales that do not materialize would adversely affect our profitability.

We face intense competition that could result in our losing or failing to gain market share and suffering reduced sales.

We operate in intensely competitive consumer markets that are characterized by competition from major domestic and international companies. This intense competition could result in pricing pressures, lower sales, reduced margins, and lower market share. Some of our competitors may have greater financial, technical, marketing, distribution, and other resources and, in certain cases, may have lower cost structures than we possess that may afford them competitive advantages. As a result, they may be able to devote greater resources to the promotion and sale of products, negotiate lower prices on raw materials and components, deliver competitive products at lower prices, and introduce new products and respond to customer requirements more effectively and quickly than we can.

Competition in the consumer products industry is primarily based on innovation, quality, reliability, durability, price, performance, consumer brand awareness, and customer service and support. Our inability to compete in one or more of these areas could have a negative impact on our business, operating results, and financial condition.

Our operating results depend upon the level of consumer spending, which is sensitive to global economic conditions and other factors.

The success of many aspects of our business depends on consumer spending, and there are a number of factors that influence consumer spending, including actual and perceived economic conditions; disposable consumer income; interest rates; consumer credit availability; employment levels; stock market performance; weather conditions; energy prices; consumer discretionary spending patterns; and tax rates in the international, national, regional, and local markets where our products are produced or sold. The current global economic environment is unpredictable, and adverse economic trends or other factors could negatively impact the level of consumer spending, which could have a material adverse impact on us.

Acquisitions involve significant risks, and any acquisitions that we undertake in the future could be difficult to integrate, disrupt our business, dilute stockholder value, and harm our operating results.

Although it is not our current strategy, we may, at some point, decide to expand our operations through acquisitions in order to enhance our existing products and offer new products, enter new markets and businesses, strengthen and avoid interruption from our supply chain, and improve our position in current markets and businesses. Acquisitions involve significant risks and uncertainties. We cannot accurately predict the timing, size, and success of any future acquisitions. We may be unable to identify suitable acquisition candidates or to complete the acquisitions of candidates that we identify. Increased competition for acquisition candidates or increased asking prices by acquisition candidates may increase purchase prices for acquisitions to levels beyond our financial capability or to levels that would not result in the returns required by our acquisition criteria. Acquisitions also may become more difficult in the future as we or others acquire the most attractive candidates. Unforeseen expenses,

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difficulties, and delays frequently encountered in connection with expansion through acquisitions could inhibit our growth and negatively impact our business, operating results, and financial condition.

We may have little or no experience with certain acquired businesses, which could involve significantly different supply chains, production techniques, customers, and competitive factors than our current business. This lack of experience would require us to rely to a great extent on the management teams of these acquired businesses. These acquisitions also could require us to make significant investments in systems, equipment, facilities, and personnel in anticipation of growth. These costs could be essential to implement our growth strategy in supporting our expanded activities and resulting corporate structure changes. We may be unable to achieve some or all of the benefits that we expect to achieve as we expand into these new markets within the time frames we expect, if at all. If we fail to achieve some or all of the benefits that we expect to achieve as we expand into these new markets, or do not achieve them within the time frames we expect, our business, operating results, and financial condition could be adversely affected.

As a part of any potential acquisition, we may engage in discussions with various acquisition candidates. In connection with these discussions, the parties may exchange confidential operational and financial information, conduct due diligence inquiries, and consider the structure, terms, and conditions of the potential acquisition. In certain cases, the prospective acquisition candidate may agree not to discuss a potential acquisition with any other party for a specific period of time and agree to take other actions designed to enhance the possibility of the acquisition, such as preparing audited financial information. Potential acquisition discussions frequently take place over a long period of time and involve difficult business integration and other issues. As a result of these and other factors, a number of potential acquisitions that from time-to-time appear likely to occur do not result in binding legal agreements and are not consummated, but may result in increased legal, consulting, and other costs.

Unforeseen expenses, difficulties, and delays frequently encountered in connection with future acquisitions could inhibit our growth and negatively impact our profitability. Any future acquisitions may not meet our strategic objectives or perform as anticipated. In addition, the size, timing, and success of any future acquisitions may cause substantial fluctuations in our operating results from quarter to quarter. These interim fluctuations could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

If we finance any future acquisitions in whole or in part through the issuance of common stock or securities convertible into or exercisable for common stock, existing stockholders will experience dilution in the voting power of their common stock and earnings per share could be negatively impacted. The extent to which we will be able or willing to use our common stock for acquisitions will depend on the market price of our common stock from time-to-time and the willingness of potential acquisition candidates to accept our common stock as full or partial consideration for the sale of their businesses. Our inability to use our common stock as consideration, to generate cash from operations, or to obtain additional funding through debt or equity financings in order to pursue an acquisition could limit our growth.

We may have difficulty collecting amounts owed to us.

Certain of our customers have experienced, and may in the future experience, credit-related issues. We perform ongoing credit evaluations of customers, but these evaluations may not be completely effective. We grant payment terms to most customers ranging from 20 to 90 days and do not generally require collateral. However, in some instances we provide longer payment terms, particularly as it relates to our hunting products. Should more customers than we anticipate experience liquidity issues, or if payment is not received on a timely basis, we may have difficulty collecting amounts owed to us by such customers and our business, operating results, and financial condition could be adversely impacted.

For the year ended April 30, 2021, sales to four of our customers exceeded 10% of our net sales from continuing operations and two of our customers accounted for approximately 28.4% of our accounts receivable. For the fiscal year ended April 30, 2020, four of our customers exceeded 10% of our net sales from continuing operations and accounted for approximately 42.2% of our accounts receivable. For the fiscal year ended April 30, 2019, one of our customers accounted for 10.4% of our net sales from continuing operations and one of our customers accounted for approximately 23.1% our accounts receivable.

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Liability insurance is expensive and may be difficult to obtain.

Liability insurance coverage is expensive and from time to time may be difficult or impossible to obtain. Our insurance policies are subject to periodic review by our insurers and may not be renewed at all or on similar or favorable terms. Because we manufacture and sell firearms, insurance carriers may decide not to insure us in the future. In addition, if we or other firearms manufacturers sustain significant losses or make significant insurance claims, our ability to obtain future insurance coverage at commercially reasonable rates could be materially adversely affected. Our liability insurance costs were $5.9 million in fiscal 2021 and $3.9 million in fiscal 2020. An inability to obtain liability insurance, significant increases in the cost of insurance we obtain, or losses in excess of our liability insurance coverage, could have a material adverse effect on us. For the reasons described herein, in fiscal 2020, we established a wholly owned captive insurance company to help mitigate these risks, but the funding by us of such insurance company may not be enough to adequately cover the cost of claims against us, if any.

An inability to reach customers through social platforms could reduce our future growth.

Consumers are increasingly leveraging online platforms, and we face intense pressure to reach our customers through social media platforms.  We plan to continue to expand our brand recognition and product loyalty through social media and our websites, with generation of original content. These efforts are intended to yield greater traffic to our websites and increase our consumer demand. We are subject to deplatforming, whereby our ability to share information on social platforms or websites could be blocked, limiting our ability to reach our customers through such avenues.

Our business is subject to the risk of earthquakes, fire, power outages, floods, and other catastrophic events and to interruption by problems such as terrorism, cyberattacks, or failure of key information technology systems.

Our business is vulnerable to damage or interruption from earthquakes, fires, floods, power losses, telecommunications failures, terrorist attacks, acts of war, human errors, criminal acts, public health crises, such as pandemics and epidemics, and other similar events. These risks are particularly substantial because we conduct substantially all of our operations from one location. We maintain casualty and business interruption insurance, but it may not adequately protect us from the types and amounts of losses we may incur or from the adverse effect that may be caused by significant disruptions in our product distribution, such as the long-term loss of customers or an erosion of our brand image. In addition, the facilities of certain of our suppliers are subject to the same and additional risks.

Our computer systems may also be vulnerable to computer viruses, criminal acts, denial-of-service attacks, ransomware, and similar disruptions from unauthorized tampering with our computer systems, which could lead to interruptions, delays, or loss of critical data. As we rely heavily on our information technology and communications systems and the Internet to conduct our business and provide high-quality customer service, these disruptions could harm our ability to run our business and either directly or indirectly disrupt our suppliers’ or manufacturers’ businesses, which could harm our business, operating results, and financial condition.

Risks Related to Legal Proceedings, Product Recalls, and Other Product Liabilities

Our business involves the potential for product recalls, product liability, and other claims against us, which could affect our earnings and financial condition.

As a distributor of non-firearm consumer products, such as handcuffs, we are subject to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Act of 1972, as amended by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which empowers the Consumer Products Safety Commission to exclude from the market products that are found to be unsafe or hazardous, and similar laws under foreign jurisdictions. Under certain circumstances, the Consumer Products Safety Commission or comparable foreign agency could require us to repurchase or recall one or more of our products. Additionally, other laws and agencies regulate certain consumer products sold by us and more restrictive laws and regulations may be adopted in the future. Any repurchase or recall of our products could be costly and damage our reputation. If we were required to remove, or we voluntarily remove, our products from the market, our reputation could be tarnished, and we might have large quantities of finished products that we could not sell. We also face exposure to product liability claims in the event that one of our products is alleged to have resulted in property damage, bodily injury, or other adverse effects. In addition to the risk of substantial monetary

25


 

judgments, fines, or penalties that may result from any governmental investigations, product liability claims, or regulatory actions, such events could result in negative publicity that could harm our reputation in the marketplace, adversely impact the value of our brands, and result in an increase in the cost of producing our products. Similar to product liability claims, we face exposure to class action lawsuits related to the performance, safety, or advertising of our products. Such class action lawsuits could result in substantial monetary judgments, injunctions related to the sale of products, and potentially tarnish our reputation.

In fiscal 2020, we formed a wholly owned captive insurance company, which provides product liability insurance to us and our subsidiaries. This captive insurance company was included in our consolidated financial statements for the fiscal year end April 30, 2021 and 2020. Although we maintain product liability insurance in amounts that we believe are reasonable, that insurance is, in most cases, subject to large self-insured retentions for which we are responsible, and we cannot assure you that we will be able to maintain such insurance on acceptable terms, if at all, in the future or that product liability claims will not exceed the amount of insurance coverage. As a result, product recalls or product liability claims could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition. In addition, we face potential other types of litigation arising out of alleged defects in our products or otherwise, such as class action lawsuits. We do not maintain insurance against many types of claims involving alleged defects in our products that do not involve personal injury or property damage. We spend substantial resources ensuring compliance with governmental and other applicable standards.

Our product liability insurance program is an occurrence-based program based on our current and historical claims experience and the availability and cost of insurance. We cannot assure you, however, that our future product liability experience will be consistent with our past experience or that claims and awards will not substantially impact the costs of our insurance programs in the future.

We are subject to lawsuits and governmental investigations and inquiries.

We are currently involved in several lawsuits, including a lawsuit involving a municipality and several product liability lawsuits.

We are vigorously defending ourselves in the lawsuits to which we are subject. There can be no assurance, however, that we will not have to pay significant damages or amounts in settlement above insurance coverage. An unfavorable outcome or prolonged litigation could harm our business. Litigation of this nature is also expensive and time consuming and may divert the time and attention of our management.

Our products expose us to potential product liability, warranty liability, and personal injury claims, as well as litigation relating to the use or misuse of our products. These include allegations of defects in manufacturing and design, failure to warn of inherent dangers in the product itself or activities associated with the product, and negligence and strict liability. In addition, as described earlier, we could be subject to future litigation arising out of the criminal misuse of our firearms. If successful, such claims could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition. Although we maintain product liability insurance in amounts that we believe are reasonable, we may not be able to maintain such insurance on acceptable terms, if at all, in the future, and product liability claims may exceed the amount of insurance coverage available to us. Because we manufacture and sell firearms, insurance carriers may decide not to insure our products or our company in the future. In addition, our reputation may be adversely affected by such claims, whether or not successful, including potential negative publicity about our products. Due to the nature of our products, we anticipate that we will continue to be involved in litigation, including product liability cases and claims in the future.

 

Defects in our products could reduce demand and result in a decrease in sales or damage to our reputation. Our products can contain latent defects that are not detected until after the product is introduced to the market. In addition, we obtain many of our products and component parts from third-party suppliers and may not be able to detect defects until after they are sold. Defects in our products may result in a loss of sales, recall or corrective action expenses, damage to our reputation, and increased warranty costs, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition.

 

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We have been and may continue to be subject to governmental investigations and inquiries. Such investigations and inquiries could subject us to various sanctions, including significant civil and criminal penalties, the indictment of our company or various of our officers and employees, our being prevented from bidding on domestic military and government contracts, restriction by the U.S. Government, including by the U.S. Department of State or U.S. Department of Commerce on exporting our products, private civil litigation arising out of the outcome of the investigations or inquiries, the diversion of time and attention of our management from normal business operations, and a negative impact on the perception of our company by investors, customers, and others.

We produce or source and sell products that create exposure to potential product liability, warranty liability, or personal injury claims and litigation.

Some of our products involve or are used in applications and situations that involve risk of personal injury and death. Our products expose us to potential product liability, warranty liability, personal injury claims, and litigation relating to the use or misuse of our products, including allegations of defects in manufacturing, defects in design, a failure to warn of dangers inherent in the product or activities associated with the product, negligence, and strict liability. If successful, such claims could have a material adverse effect on our business. In addition, defects in our products could reduce demand for our products and result in a decrease in sales and market acceptance and damage to our reputation.

Components used in our products may contain undetected defects that are subsequently discovered at any point in the life of the product. In addition, we obtain many of our finished products and product components from third-party suppliers and may not be able to detect defects in such products or components until after they are sold. Defects in our products may result in a loss of sales, recall expenses, delay in market acceptance, damage to our reputation, and increased warranty costs, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition.   

Risks Relating to Intellectual Property, Information Systems, and Cybersecurity

Our inability to protect our intellectual property or obtain the right to use intellectual property from third parties could impair our competitive advantage, reduce our sales, and increase our costs.

Our success and ability to compete depend in part on our ability to protect our intellectual property. We rely on a combination of patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, trade dress, customer records, monitoring, brand protection services, confidentiality agreements, and other contractual provisions to protect our intellectual property, but these measures may provide only limited protection. Our failure to enforce and protect our intellectual property rights or obtain the right to use necessary intellectual property from third parties may lead to our loss of trademark and service mark rights, brand loyalty, and notoriety among our customers and prospective customers. The scope of any intellectual property to which we have or may obtain rights may not prevent others from developing and selling competing products. In addition, our intellectual property may be held invalid upon challenge, or others may claim rights in, or ownership of, our intellectual property. Moreover, we may become subject to litigation with parties that claim, among other matters, that we infringed their patents or other intellectual property rights. The defense and prosecution of patent and other intellectual property claims are both costly and time-consuming and could result in a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition.

Patents may not be issued for the patent applications that we have filed or may file in the future. Our issued patents may be challenged, invalidated, or circumvented, and claims of our patents may not be of sufficient scope or strength, or issued in the proper geographic regions, to provide meaningful protection or any commercial advantage. We have registered certain of our trademarks and trade dress in the United States and other countries. We have also recorded certain of our registered trademarks with customs officials in the United States and other countries. We may be unable to enforce existing or obtain new registrations of principle or other trademarks in key markets. Failure to obtain or enforce such registrations could compromise our ability to protect fully our trademarks and brands and could increase the risk of challenges from third parties to our use of our trademarks and brands.

In the past, we did not consistently require our employees and consultants to enter into confidentiality agreements, employment agreements, or proprietary information and invention agreements; however, such agreements are now required. Therefore, our former employees and consultants may try to claim some ownership

27


 

interest in our intellectual property and may use our intellectual property competitively and without appropriate limitations. In addition, our acquired businesses may not have consistently required their employees and consultants to enter into confidentiality agreements, employment agreements, or proprietary information and invention agreements. Claims by such individuals may affect our business, operating results, and financial condition.

We may incur substantial expenses and devote significant resources in prosecuting others for their unauthorized use of our intellectual property rights.

We may become involved in litigation regarding patents and other intellectual property rights. Other companies, including our competitors, may develop intellectual property that is similar or superior to our intellectual property, duplicate our intellectual property, or design around our patents and may have or obtain patents or other proprietary rights that would prevent, limit, or interfere with our ability to make, use, or sell our products. Effective intellectual property protection may be unavailable or limited in some foreign countries in which we sell products or from which competing products may be sold. Unauthorized parties may attempt to copy or otherwise use aspects of our intellectual property and products that we regard as proprietary. Our means of protecting our proprietary rights in the United States or abroad may prove to be inadequate and competitors may be able to independently develop similar intellectual property. If our intellectual property protection is insufficient to protect our intellectual property rights, we could face increased competition in the markets for our products.

Should any of our competitors file patent applications or obtain patents that claim inventions also claimed by us, we may choose to participate in an interference proceeding to determine the right to a patent for these inventions because our business would be harmed if we fail to enforce and protect our intellectual property rights. Even if the outcome is favorable, this proceeding could result in substantial cost to us and disrupt our business.

In the future, we also may need to file lawsuits to enforce our intellectual property rights, protect our trade secrets, or determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others. This litigation, whether successful or unsuccessful, could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources, which could have a material adverse effect on us.

Interruptions in the proper functioning of our information systems or other issues with our ERP systems could cause disruption to our operations.

We rely extensively on our information systems to manage our business, data, communications, supply chain, ordering, pricing, billing, inventory replenishment, accounting functions, and other processes. Our systems are subject to damage or interruption from various sources, including computer and telecommunications failures, computer viruses, cyber security breaches, attacks by hackers and other breaches, introduction of malware or ransomware, phishing attacks, denial of service attacks, blocking of authorized service attacks, vandalism, severe weather conditions, power outages, catastrophic events, terrorism, and human error, and our disaster recovery planning cannot account for all eventualities. If our systems are damaged, fail to function properly, or otherwise become compromised or unavailable, we may incur substantial costs to repair or replace them, and we may experience loss of critical data and interruptions or delays in our ability to perform critical functions, which could adversely affect our business, operating results, and financial condition.

Our information technology systems require periodic modifications, upgrades, and replacement that subject us to costs and risks, including potential disruption to our internal control structure, substantial capital expenditures, additional administration and operating expenses, retention of sufficiently skilled personnel or outside firms to implement and operate existing or new systems, and other risks and costs of delays or difficulties in transitioning to new or modified systems or of integrating new or modified systems into our current systems. In addition, challenges implementing new or modified technology systems may cause disruptions in our business operations and have an adverse effect on our business operations if not anticipated and appropriately mitigated.

We operate our business utilizing SAP, which is a fully integrated ERP system. We continue to implement various modules and additional usages of SAP. Any of those implementations could result in a major disruption to our business, and any disruption could have a negative effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition. In addition, utilizing SAP has required and will continue to require significant resources and refinement to fully realize the expected benefits of the system.

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Breaches of our information systems could adversely affect our reputation, disrupt our operations, and result in increased costs and loss of revenue.

There have been an increasing number of cyber security incidents affecting companies around the world, which have caused operational failures or compromised sensitive or confidential corporate data.  Although we do not believe our systems are at a greater risk of cyber security incidents than other similar organizations, such cyber security incidents may result in system disruptions or shutdowns; the loss or compromise of customer, financial, or operational data; loss of assets; disruption of billing, collections, or normal operating activities; disruption of electronic monitoring and control of operational systems; delays in financial reporting and other management functions; and the inability to access or rely upon critical business systems or records or other operational delays or issues. Possible impacts associated with cyber security incidents (which generally are increasing in both frequency and sophistication) may include, among others, remediation costs related to lost, stolen, or compromised data; repairs to data processing systems; increased cyber security protection costs; reputational damage; lawsuits seeking damages; regulatory actions; and adverse effects on our compliance with applicable privacy and other laws and regulations. In the past we have experienced cyber security attacks and breaches, which, to date, have not had a material impact on our operations, but there can be no assurances that any further breach or disruption will not have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, or financial condition.

If our efforts to protect the security of personal information related to any of our customers, consumers, vendors, or employees are unsuccessful and unauthorized access to that personal information is obtained, or we experience a significant disruption in our computer systems or a cyber security breach, we could experience an adverse effect on our operations, we could be subject to costly government enforcement action and private litigation, and our reputation could suffer.

Our operations involve the storage and transmission of proprietary information related to customers, consumers, vendors, and employees, such as credit card and bank account numbers, and security breaches could expose us to a risk of loss of this information, government enforcement action and litigation, and possible liability. Our payment services may be susceptible to credit card and other payment fraud schemes, including unauthorized use of credit cards, debit cards, bank account information, identity theft, and merchant fraud.

If our security measures are breached as a result of third-party action, employee error, malfeasance, or otherwise, and as a result, someone obtains unauthorized access to data of our customers, consumers, vendors, or employees, our reputation may be damaged, our business may suffer, and we could incur significant liability. Because techniques used to obtain unauthorized access or to sabotage systems change frequently and generally are not recognized until launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or implement adequate preventative measures. If an actual or perceived breach of our security occurs, the public perception of the effectiveness of our security measures could be harmed and we could lose customers and consumers, which could adversely affect our business.

Any breach of our data security or that of our service providers could result in an unauthorized release or transfer of customer, consumer, vendor, user, or employee information; cause the loss of valuable business data; or cause a disruption in our business. These events could give rise to unwanted media attention; damage our reputation; damage our customer, consumer, employee, vendor, or user relationships; and result in lost sales, fines, or lawsuits. We may also be required to expend significant capital and other resources to protect against or respond to or alleviate problems caused by a security breach, which could harm our operating results. If we or our independent service providers or business partners experience a breach of systems compromising our customers’ sensitive data, our brand could be harmed, sales of our products could decrease, and we could be exposed to losses, litigation, or regulatory proceedings. Depending on the nature of the information compromised, we may also have obligations to notify users, law enforcement, or payment companies about the incident and may need to provide some form of remedy, such as refunds, for the individuals affected by the incident.

Actions of social activists could cause us to incur substantial costs, divert management’s attention and resources, and have an adverse effect on our business.

 

From time to time, we may be subject to informal private or public inquiries and/or formal proxy proposals by activists urging us to take certain corporate actions, many of which may not be aligned with the best financial or operational interests of our company.  Such activities may adversely affect our business in a number of ways, since responding to such inquiries or proposals can be costly, time consuming, disruptive to our operations, and could

29


 

meaningfully divert the attention of our resources, including those of our management team and our employees.   For example, such activities could require us to retain the services of various professionals to advise us on such matters, including legal, financial, and communications advisors, which could be costly.  In addition, certain stockholder inquiries and proposals could create perceived uncertainties or concerns as to our future operating environment, legislative environment, strategy direction, or leadership, and such uncertainties or concerns could result in the loss of potential business opportunities; could harm our ability to attract new investors, customers, and employees; could harm or disrupt our business and financial relationships; could result in consumer boycotts of our products; and could cause our stock price to experience periods of decline, volatility, or stagnation.  For example, gun-control activists could pressure our financial institutions, our insurance carriers, our customers, our vendors, or other businesses and institutions with whom we maintain relationships to cease doing business with us or adopt actions that are not in the best interests of our company, inconsistent with the legal operations of our business, or contrary to the beliefs of our core consumers. In addition, our reputation could be irreparably damaged if our core consumers believe that we have adopted the gun control agenda of certain activists. Such activities could have a negative impact on our business, operating results, and financial condition.

Risks Relating to Certain Business Matters and Securities Markets

Our operating results may involve significant fluctuations.

Various factors contribute to significant periodic and seasonal fluctuations in our operating results. These factors include the following:

 

market acceptance of our products, including new products;

 

market acceptance and new product introductions by our competitors;

 

the timing of large domestic and international orders;

 

cancellation of existing orders;

 

changes in our sales mix;

 

the cost of new product introductions;

 

problems with our supply chain;

 

the volume of customer orders relative to our capacity;

 

timing of expenditures in anticipation of future customer orders;

 

effectiveness in managing production processes and costs;

 

changes in cost and availability of labor and finished products, product components, and raw materials;

 

ability to manage inventory and inventory obsolescence;

 

pricing and other competitive pressures; 

 

changes or anticipated changes in economic, social, political, legislative, and regulatory factors;

 

a material change in federal or state income tax regulations;

 

the outcome of any litigation;

 

adverse publicity surrounding our products, the safety of our products, or the use of our products;

 

changes in amount and or timing of our operating expenses; and

 

changes in laws and regulations that may affect the marketability of our products.

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As a result of these and other factors, we believe that period-to-period comparisons of our operating results may not be meaningful in the short term, and our performance in a particular period may not be indicative of our performance in any future period.

The market price of our common stock could be subject to wide fluctuations as a result of many factors.

Many factors could affect the market price of our common stock, including the following:

 

variations in our operating results;

 

the relatively small public float of our common stock;

 

introductions of new products and services by us or our competitors;

 

the performance of our distributors;

 

changes in the estimates of our operating performance or changes in recommendations by any securities analysts that follow our stock;

 

general economic, social, political, and market conditions and consumer spending patterns;

 

governmental policies and regulations;

 

investor reaction to news events;

 

lack of investor interest in a firearm business;

 

the general performance of the markets in which we participate; and

 

factors relating to suppliers and competitors.

In addition, market demand for small-capitalization stocks, and price and volume fluctuations in the stock market unrelated to our performance, could result in significant fluctuations in the market price of our common stock. The performance of our common stock could adversely affect our ability to raise equity in the public markets and adversely affect the growth of our business.

We depend on key personnel, our business may be harmed, if we fail to retain and attract skilled management and other key personnel.

Our success depends to a significant extent upon the continued services of our current management team, including Mark P. Smith, our President and Chief Executive Officer. The loss of Mr. Smith, or one or more of our other key executives or employees, could have a material adverse effect on our business. Generally, we do not maintain “key person” insurance policies on the lives of any of our executive officers or any of our other employees. We employ all of our executive officers and key employees on an at-will basis, and their employment can be terminated by us or them at any time, for any reason, and without advance notice, subject to certain severance obligations upon termination. In order to retain valuable employees, in addition to salary and cash incentives, we regard our ability as a public company to grant stock-based compensation as an important component of our ability to attract and retain key personnel. The value to employees of stock-based compensation over time will be significantly affected by movements in our stock price that are beyond our control and may at any time be insufficient to counteract offers from other companies.

Our success also depends on our ability to attract, retain, and motivate additional skilled management personnel. We plan to continue to expand our work force to continue to improve our business and operating results. We believe that there is significant competition for qualified personnel with the skills and knowledge that we require, particularly as a result of ongoing firearm industry consolidation and other industry developments. Many of the other companies with which we compete for qualified personnel have greater financial and other resources than we do. They also may provide more diverse opportunities and better chances for career advancement. Some of these characteristics may be more appealing to high-quality candidates than those which we have to offer. If we are not able to retain our current key personnel, or attract the necessary qualified key personnel to accomplish our business objectives, we may experience constraints that will impede significantly the achievement of our business objectives

31


 

and our ability to pursue our business strategy. New hires require significant training and, in most cases, take significant time before they achieve full productivity. New employees may not become as productive as we expect, and we may be unable to hire or retain sufficient numbers of qualified individuals. If our recruiting, training, and retention efforts are not successful or do not generate a corresponding increase in revenue, our business will be harmed.

Our governing documents and Nevada law could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us and discourage a takeover.

Certain provisions of our articles of incorporation and bylaws and Nevada law make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us and make a takeover more difficult to complete, even if such a transaction were in our stockholders’ interest or might result in a premium over the market price for the shares held by our stockholders.

A material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting could result in material misstatements in our financial statements.

We are responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over our financial reporting, as defined in Rule 13a-15(f) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. As disclosed in Item 9A, “Controls and Procedures,” in fiscal 2020, we identified a material weakness in our control over financial reporting that was remediated in fiscal 2021. A material weakness is defined as a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting, such that there was a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements might not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. If our remedial measures are insufficient to address the material weakness, or if additional material weaknesses in our internal control are discovered or occur in the future, our financial statements may contain material misstatements and we could be required to restate our financial statements.

Risks Relating to the Spin-off of our Outdoor Products and Accessories Business

 

We may be unable to achieve some or all of the benefits we expect to achieve from the spin-off.

On August 24, 2020, we completed the spin-off of our outdoor products and accessories business, American Outdoor Brands, Inc., or AOUT. Although we believe that the spin-off will enhance our long-term value, we may not be able to achieve some or all of the anticipated benefits from the separation of our businesses and the spin-off may adversely affect our business. Separating the businesses resulted in two independent, publicly traded companies, each of which is now a smaller, less diversified and more narrowly focused business than before the spin-off, which makes us more vulnerable to changing market and economic conditions. Additionally, a potential loss of synergies from separating the businesses could negatively impact the balance sheet, profit margins, or earnings of both businesses and the combined value of the common stock of the two publicly traded companies may not be equal to or greater than the value of our common stock had the spin-off not occurred. If we fail to achieve some or all of the benefits that we expect to achieve as a result of the spin-off, or do not achieve them in the time we expect, our results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.

 

The AOUT spin-off could result in substantial tax liability to us and our stockholders.

We received opinions of tax advisors substantially to the effect that, for U.S. Federal income tax purposes, the spin-off and certain related transactions qualify for tax-free treatment under certain sections of the Internal Revenue Code. However, if the factual assumptions or representations made by us in connection with the delivery of the opinions are inaccurate or incomplete in any material respect, including those relating to the past and future conduct of our business, we will not be able to rely on the opinions. Furthermore, the opinions are not binding on the IRS or the courts. If, notwithstanding receipt of the opinions, the spin-off transaction and certain related transactions are determined to be taxable, we would be subject to a substantial tax liability. In addition, if the spin-off transaction is taxable, each holder of our common stock who received shares of AOUT in connection with the spin-off would generally be treated as receiving a taxable distribution of property in an amount equal to the fair market value of the shares received.

Even if the spin-off otherwise qualifies as a tax-free transaction, the distribution would be taxable to us (but not to our stockholders) in certain circumstances if future significant acquisitions of our stock or the stock of AOUT

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are deemed to be part of a plan or series of related transactions that included the spin-off. In this event, the resulting tax liability could be substantial. In connection with the spin-off, we entered into a tax matters agreement with AOUT, pursuant to which AOUT agreed to not enter into any transaction that could cause any portion of the spin-off to be taxable to us without our consent and to indemnify us for any tax liability resulting from any such transaction. In addition, these potential tax liabilities may discourage, delay, or prevent a change of control of us.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

Not applicable.

Item 2. Properties

 

The following table sets forth information regarding our principal operating properties and other significant properties as of April 30, 2021.  All the properties listed below are leased except where otherwise indicated.  In general, our operating properties are well maintained, suitably equipped, and in good operating condition.

 

Location

 

Facility

 

 

North America

 

 

 

 

United States

 

 

 

 

Connecticut

 

 

 

 

Deep River

 

Plant

 

 

Idaho

 

 

 

 

      Meridian(1)

 

Office

 

 

Maine

 

 

 

 

Houlton(2)

 

Plant

 

 

Massachusetts

 

 

 

 

Springfield(2)

 

Executive Offices & Plant

 

 

New Hampshire

 

 

 

 

Somersworth

 

Research & Development

 

 

Missouri

 

 

 

 

Columbia

 

Office & Warehouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Europe

 

 

 

 

Belgium

 

 

 

 

Herstal(3)

 

Office

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1)Property is subleased.

 

 

 

 

(2)Owned property.

 

 

 

 

(3)We are in the process of closing this office.

 

 

Information regarding our legal proceedings is discussed in Note 18 to our consolidated financial statements, which is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

 

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PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market Information

Our common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “SWBI.” Our common stock was previously traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “AOBC” from January 1, 2017 to June 1, 2020 and under the symbol “SWHC” from July 20, 2006 to January 1, 2017. The holders of our common stock are entitled to one vote per share on any matter to be voted upon by the stockholders. All shares of common stock rank equally as to voting and all other matters. The shares of common stock have no preemptive or conversion rights, no redemption or sinking fund provisions, are not liable for further call or assessment, and are not entitled to cumulative voting rights.

 

Holders

On June 15, 2021, there were 840 record holders of our common stock. A substantially greater number of holders of common stock are “street name” or beneficial holders, whose shares are held of record by banks, brokers, and other financial institutions.

Dividend Policy

SWBI has paid dividends on a quarterly basis since the spin-off of the outdoor products and accessories business.  Quarterly dividends, when declared, are paid approximately three weeks after earnings are announced. Payment of any cash dividends depends on our financial condition, operating results, and capital requirements as well as other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors. We paid dividends totaling $8.2 million during fiscal 2021. There were no dividends paid prior to fiscal year 2021.

Securities Authorized for Issuance under Equity Compensation Plans

For equity compensation plan information, refer to Item 12 (Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters) in Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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Performance Graph

The following line graph compares cumulative total stockholder returns for the five years ended April 30, 2021 for (i) our common stock; (ii) the Russell 2000 Index; (iii) a peer group consisting of Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc., Vista Outdoor, Inc., and National Presto Industries, Inc., (Peer Group on the graph below). The graph assumes an investment of $100 on April 30, 2016 and dividend reinvested. The performance shown is not necessarily indicative of future performance.   

 

COMPARISON OF FIVE-YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN*

Among Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc., The Russell 2000 Index,

And Peer Group

 

 

 

 

*

$100 invested on April 30, 2016 in stock or index — including reinvestment of dividends. Fiscal year ending April 30.

The performance graph above shall not be deemed “filed” for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, or otherwise subject to the liability of that section. The performance graph above will not be deemed incorporated by reference into any filing of our company under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act.

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Repurchases of Common Stock

The following table sets forth certain information relating to the purchases of our common stock by us and any affiliated purchasers within the meaning of Rule 10b-18(a)(3) under the Exchange Act during the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021 (dollars in thousands, except per share data):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total # of Shares

 

 

Maximum Dollar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purchased as

 

 

Value of Shares

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part of Publicly

 

 

that May Yet Be

 

 

 

Total # of

 

 

 

 

 

 

Announced

 

 

Purchased

 

 

 

Shares

 

 

Average Price

 

 

Plans or

 

 

Under the Plans

 

Period

 

Purchased

 

 

Per Share (2)

 

 

Programs (1)

 

 

or Programs

 

December 1 to January 31, 2020

 

 

2,737,489

 

 

$

18.24

 

 

 

2,737,489

 

 

$

 

March 1 to April 30, 2021

 

 

3,380,447

 

 

 

17.73

 

 

 

3,380,447

 

 

 

40,000

 

Total

 

 

6,117,936

 

 

$

17.96

 

 

 

6,117,936

 

 

$

40,000

 

 

(1)

On December 15, 2020, our board of directors authorized the repurchase of $50.0 million of our common stock, subject to certain conditions, in the open market or privately negotiated transactions until December 14, 2021. During fiscal 2021, we repurchased 2,737,489 shares of our common stock under this authorization.  On March 2, 2021, our board of directors authorized the repurchase of an additional $100.0 million of our common stock, subject to certain conditions, in the open market or privately negotiated transactions. During fiscal 2021, we repurchased 3,380,447 shares of our common stock for $60.0 million.  Subsequent to fiscal 2021, we completed the second stock repurchase program by purchasing 1,967,420 shares of our common stock for $40.0 million.   We did not repurchase any shares of our common stock during fiscal 2020.

(2)

The average price per share excludes fees paid to acquire the shares.

 

 

Item 6. RESERVED

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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

You should read the following Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes thereto contained elsewhere in this report. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. Our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of factors, including those set forth under Item 1A, “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this report.   

The results of our outdoor products and accessories business, which was previously reported as a separate business segment, are being presented as discontinued operations in the consolidated statements of income/(loss) for all periods presented, See Note 3 – Discontinued Operations to our consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding these discontinued operations.  Unless otherwise indicated, any reference to income statement items in this Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations refers to results from continuing operations.

2021 Highlights

Our operating results for fiscal 2021 included the following:

 

Net sales of $1.1 billion represented an increase of $529.6 million, or 100.0%, over our fiscal 2020 net sales.  The 100.0% increase in net sales was primarily driven by our ability to respond to consistently increased consumer demand over the past year with a 61.6% increase in firearm units produced combined with the cancellation of substantially all promotional activities, which resulted in an increase in average selling prices for nearly all product offerings.  

 

Gross profit increased 171.0% over the prior fiscal year, primarily because of lower promotional spending, favorable manufacturing fixed cost absorption, favorable product mix, and price increases.  This increase was partially offset by increased volume-related spending and unfavorable inventory valuation adjustments.  

 

Increased net sales and gross margin were driven by heightened consumer demand, which we believe was caused by continued concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, events that raised fears about personal protection, and uncertainty regarding the possibility of increased firearm regulation.

 

Net income was $243.6 million, or $4.40 per diluted share, compared with net income of $27.7 million, or $0.50 per diluted share for the prior fiscal year, primarily as a result of increased net sales across all of our product lines.

 

As noted above, and in Note 3 Discontinued Operations to our consolidated financial statements, the spin-off of our wholly owned subsidiary AOUT, from our company was completed on August 24, 2020.

Key Performance Indicators

We evaluate the performance of our business based upon operating profit, which includes net sales, cost of sales, selling and administrative expenses, and certain components of other income and expense. We also track our return on invested capital, and we use adjusted EBITDAS (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense, excluding certain non-operational items), which is a non-GAAP financial metric, as a supplemental measure of our performance in order to provide investors with an improved understanding of underlying performance trends. We evaluate the performance of our products using such measurements as gross margin per unit produced, units produced per day, revenue by trade channel, and incoming orders per day.

External Factors that Impact the Firearm Industry

The firearm industry has been subject to many external factors in the past that have significantly increased the volatility of revenue generated for all companies within the industry. These factors include, among others, fears surrounding crime and terrorism; tragic news events; potential restrictions on the sale or makeup of firearms; actual and potential legislative, judicial, and regulatory actions; economic changes; and changes in the social and political environment, including presidential elections. See Item IA, Risk Factors, for further discussion of external factors that impact the firearm industry.  Although these external factors have created demand surges and volatility in the

37


 

firearm market, and often make it difficult to predict demand, we believe that those external factors have also likely contributed to a long-term increase in consumer interest in firearms. From 2010 through 2019, this increased consumer interest helped the firearm industry generate a ten-year compound annual growth rate in units of approximately 2.8% according to the ATF. We believe that this expanding base of consumers combined with our strong brand reputation and attractive price points are important factors in our goal to continue increasing our market share. Based on data from calendar 2020, we estimate that we have a 19.0% share of the U.S. consumer market for firearms.

Results of Operations

 

Net Sales and Gross Profit

 

The following table sets forth certain information regarding net sales and gross profit for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019 (dollars in thousands):

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

$ Change

 

 

% Change

 

 

2019

 

Handguns

 

$

755,735

 

 

$

390,711

 

 

$

365,024

 

 

 

93.4

%

 

$

336,901

 

Long Guns

 

 

253,340

 

 

 

101,540

 

 

 

151,800

 

 

 

149.5

%

 

 

107,717

 

Other Products & Services

 

 

50,120

 

 

 

37,367

 

 

 

12,753

 

 

 

34.1

%

 

 

36,718

 

Total Revenue

 

$

1,059,195

 

 

$

529,618

 

 

$

529,577

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

$

481,336

 

Cost of sales

 

 

610,212

 

 

 

363,929

 

 

 

246,283

 

 

 

67.7

%

 

 

335,052

 

Gross profit

 

$

448,983

 

 

$

165,689

 

 

$

283,294

 

 

 

171.0

%

 

$

146,284

 

% of net sales (gross margin)

 

 

42.4

%

 

 

31.3

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30.4

%

 

The following table sets forth certain information regarding units shipped by trade channel for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019 (units in thousands):

 

Total Units Shipped

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

# Change

 

 

% Change

 

 

2019

 

Handguns

 

 

2,079

 

 

 

1,253

 

 

 

826

 

 

65.9%

 

 

 

1,162

 

Long Guns

 

 

524

 

 

 

295

 

 

 

229

 

 

77.6%

 

 

 

327

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sporting Goods Channel Units Shipped

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

# Change

 

 

% Change

 

 

2019

 

Handguns

 

 

1,953

 

 

 

1,170

 

 

 

783

 

 

66.9%

 

 

 

1,067

 

Long Guns

 

 

508

 

 

 

281

 

 

 

227

 

 

80.8%

 

 

 

309

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professional Channel Units Shipped

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

# Change

 

 

% Change

 

 

2019

 

Handguns

 

 

126

 

 

 

83

 

 

 

43

 

 

51.8%

 

 

 

95

 

Long Guns

 

 

16

 

 

 

14

 

 

 

2

 

 

14.3%

 

 

 

18

 

 

Fiscal 2021 Net Sales and Gross Profit Compared with Fiscal 2020

Net sales for our handguns increased $365.0 million, or 93.4%, over fiscal 2020 as a result of increased demand for all major product lines, likely as a result of pandemic-related restrictions, fear for personal safety, and concerns over increased firearm regulation resulting from a change in the Presidential administration. Unit shipments of our handguns into the sporting goods consumer channel increased 66.9% over fiscal 2020 as a result of increased demand, which correlates to the 48.9% increase in adjusted background checks for handguns reported to NICS. We believe our outperformance of adjusted NICS was a result of our ability to increase capacity to meet consumer demand, and a consumer preference for our products at the retail level.

Net sales for our long guns increased $151.8 million, or 149.5%, over fiscal 2020 as a result of increased consumer demand for our M&P modern sporting rifles, we believe driven by fear for public safety, concerns over increased firearms regulation resulting from a change in the Presidential administration, and an increased participation in outdoor activities because of COVID-19, partially offset by a bulk sale to clear discontinued products from the channel in the prior year.  Unit shipments into the sporting goods channel increased 80.8% over fiscal 2020 compared with a 40.6% increase in reported NICS checks over the prior comparable period.  We believe

38


 

that our percentage increase in long gun sales significantly exceeded the increase in NICS because our flexible manufacturing capabilities allowed us to increase production capacity significantly during this period, combined with a consumer preference for our products at the retail level.

Other products and services net sales increased $12.8 million, or 34.1%, over fiscal 2020, primarily because of increased sales of component parts, handcuffs, and business-to-business services.  

New products, defined as any new SKU not shipped in the prior year, represented 17.3% of net sales for the 12 months ended April 30, 2021 and included several new M&P branded polymer pistols, many new product line extensions, and promotional products bundle kits for our M&P and Thompson/Center Arms branded products.

Gross margin for fiscal 2021 increased by 171.0% over the prior fiscal year, primarily because of lower promotional spending, favorable manufacturing fixed cost absorption, favorable product mix, and price increases.  This increase was partially offset by increased manufacturing spending, unfavorable inventory valuation adjustments.  

Our inventory levels decreased $25.3 million during fiscal 2021, as a result of the increase in consumer demand.  The past year has seen unprecedented demand, which has resulted in internal, distributor, and retail inventories being at historically low levels.

A discussion of our results of net sales and gross profit for the year ended April 30, 2020 compared to the year ended April 30, 2019 is included in Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended April 30, 2020, filed with the SEC on June 19, 2020.

Operating Expenses

The following table sets forth certain information regarding operating expenses for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019 (dollars in thousands):

 

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

$ Change

 

 

% Change

 

 

2019

 

Research and development

 

$

7,480

 

 

$

7,364

 

 

$

116

 

 

 

1.6

%

 

$

8,008

 

Selling, marketing, and distribution

 

 

42,603

 

 

 

41,987

 

 

 

616

 

 

 

1.5

%

 

 

27,693

 

General and administrative

 

 

79,268

 

 

 

66,033

 

 

 

13,235

 

 

 

20.0

%

 

 

67,066

 

Total operating expenses

 

$

129,351

 

 

$

115,384

 

 

$

13,967

 

 

 

12.1

%

 

$

102,767

 

% of net sales

 

 

12.2

%

 

 

21.8

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21.4

%

 

Fiscal 2021 Operating Expenses Compared with Fiscal 2020

 

Operating expenses increased $14.0 million over the prior fiscal year. Selling, marketing, and distribution expenses increased $616,000, primarily because of increased freight-related expenses and expenses related to temporary labor, as a result of increased shipments, additional expenses for a consumer firearm safety program, increased co-op advertising expenses for strategic customers, and compensation-related expenses. These increased expenses were partially offset by lower travel and entertainment expenses as a result of COVID-19 and decreased spending on targeted customer promotions. General and administrative expenses increased $13.2 million, primarily because of $3.2 million of increased expenses related to the spin-off, $12.6 million of increased profit-sharing expense, and $1.0 million in donations to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. These increased expenses were partially offset by lower travel and entertainment expensed due to COVID-19, and decreased compensation-related expenses.

Fiscal 2020 Operating Expenses Compared with Fiscal 2019

 

Operating expenses increased by $12.6 million over fiscal 2019. Research and development expenses decreased $644,000 as a result of decreased compensation-related expenses. Selling and marketing expenses increased primarily as a result of $5.3 million of increased compensation-related expenses, $4.4 million of increased freight and shipping expense, and $2.5 million in depreciation expense related to our distribution center. These increased expenses were partially offset by a decrease in spending on promotional events because of COVID-19.

39


 

General and administrative expenses increased $1.0 million because of increased depreciation expenses and other expenses related to the spin-off of our outdoor products and accessories business. These increases were partially offset by decreased compensation-related expenses in connection with the separation of our former President and Chief Executive Officer.

Operating Income from Continuing Operations

The following table sets forth certain information regarding operating income for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019 (dollars in thousands):

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

$ Change

 

 

% Change

 

 

2019

 

Operating income from continuing operations

 

$

319,632

 

 

$

50,305

 

 

$

269,327

 

 

 

535.4

%

 

$

43,517

 

% of net sales (operating margin)

 

 

30.2

%

 

 

9.5

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.0

%

 

Fiscal 2021 Operating Income from Continuing Operations Compared with Fiscal 2020

 

Operating income from continuing operations for fiscal 2021 increased $269.3 million, or 535.4%, over the prior fiscal year, primarily because of increased sales and the resulting improvements in gross margins. Operating income from continuing operations was also favorably impacted by lower promotional product spending, favorable manufacturing fixed-cost absorption, lower travel and entertainment expenses because of COVID-19, and decreased advertising costs. These favorable impacts were partially offset by increased volume-related spending, increased freight-related expenses, and increased profit-sharing expense.

Fiscal 2020 Operating Income from Continuing Operations Compared with Fiscal 2019

 

Operating income from continuing operations for fiscal 2020 was $50.3 million, an increase of $6.8 million, or 15.6% over fiscal 2019, primarily because of favorable manufacturing fixed cost absorption, favorable inventory valuation adjustments, and lower manufacturing spending, as well as decreased compensation-related expenses in connection with the separation of our former President and Chief Executive Officer. These increases in operating income from continuing operations were partially offset by increased promotional product discounts and targeted customer promotions, increased depreciation and compensation-related expenses related to the new distribution center, increased expenses related to the spin-off of our outdoor products and accessories business, and increased expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Other Income

The following table sets forth certain information regarding operating income for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019 (dollars in thousands):

 

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

$ Change

 

 

% Change

 

 

2019

 

Other income

 

$

2,252

 

 

$

495

 

 

$

1,757

 

 

 

354.9

%

 

$

477

 

 

Other income for fiscal 2021increased $1.8 million, or 354.9%, over the prior fiscal year, primarily as a result of the sublease of the distribution center to AOUT, whereby AOUT subleases from us 59.0% of our distribution center under the same terms as the master lease.

Interest (Expense)

The following table sets forth certain information regarding interest expense for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019 (dollars in thousands):

 

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

$ Change

 

 

% Change

 

 

2019

 

Interest expense

 

$

(3,919

)

 

$

(11,625

)

 

$

(7,706

)

 

 

-66.3

%

 

$

(9,790

)

 

Interest expense decreased by $7.7 million from the prior fiscal year as a result of lower overall outstanding debt during fiscal 2021 resulting from increased cash generation that enabled us to repay all amounts outstanding on our revolving line of credit.

40


 

Interest expense increased by $1.8 million over fiscal 2019 as a result of interest recorded related to our capital lease for our new distribution center and additional borrowings outstanding on our revolving line of credit during the fiscal year.

Income Tax Expense

The following table sets forth certain information regarding income tax expense for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019 (dollars in thousands):

 

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

$ Change

 

 

% Change

 

 

2019

 

Income tax expense

 

$

74,394

 

 

$

11,522

 

 

$

62,872

 

 

 

545.7

%

 

$

9,284

 

% of income from operations (effective tax rate)

 

 

23.4

%

 

 

29.4

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

-6.0

%

 

 

27.1

%

 

We recorded income tax expense of $74.4 million for fiscal 2021, $62.9 million higher than the prior fiscal year, primarily because of increased profitability. The effective tax rates were 23.4% and 29.4% for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively. The effective tax rate decreased by 6.0% as a result of non-deductible expenses impacting taxable income to a lesser extent as taxable income rises. In addition, prior year income tax expense included higher non-deductible spin-related transaction costs.

 

We recorded income tax expense of $11.5 million for fiscal 2020, $2.2 million higher than 2019, primarily because of increased profitability. The effective tax rates were 29.4% and 27.1% for fiscal 2020 and 2019, respectively. The increase in rate was due to higher non-deductible spin-related costs in fiscal 2020.

 

Income from Continuing Operations

The following table sets forth certain information regarding net income and the related per share data for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2021, 2020, and 2019 (dollars in thousands, except per share data):

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

$ Change

 

 

% Change

 

 

2019

 

Income from continuing operations

 

$

243,571

 

 

$

27,653

 

 

$

215,918

 

 

 

780.8

%

 

$

24,920

 

Net income per share

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic - continuing

 

$

4.46

 

 

$

0.50

 

 

$

3.96