Fear & Loading: S&W Name Change Looming?

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posted on November 10, 2016
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On Dec. 13, stockholders of Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation—listed on NASDAQ as SWHC—will be asked to approve a company name change to American Outdoor Brands Company. Should loyal fans be concerned?

The short answer is, “no.” Actually that’s the long answer, too. The gun manufacturer will remain intact with no name change as one of the firm’s firearm labels, continuing that 164-year tradition of churning out legendary firearms.  

The development does, however, speak volumes about the financial well-being of the company and its long-term strategy of diversification to weather changes in political climate. For example, back in late July, Smith & Wesson Holding purchased Crimson Trace for just short of $100 million to anchor its new electro-optics efforts. Battenfeld Technologies, a firearm accessories firm, was secured by the company in 2014, and Taylor Brand Knives is also part of its stable.

That means we’re going to continue to see a lot of the same quality, in a lot of different products—including the pretty awesome Smith & Wesson pen I’ve been testing, which was produced by Taylor Brands. 

Comments made by Smith & Wesson president and CEO James Debney lead me to believe what we’re witnessing is just the tip of the iceberg, too. “….[W]e have successfully grown from a single operating division to four operating divisions that serve a large addressable market and represent more than 18 consumer brands,” he said. “We believe the name ‘American Outdoor Brands Corporation’ will better reflect our family of brands, our broad range of product offerings, and our plan to continue building upon our portfolio of strong American brands. Looking forward, we intend to aggressively grow organically and through strategic acquisitions, focusing on brands and products that best meet the needs and lifestyle of our target consumers.”

If the name change is approved, the company is hoping its NASDQ ticker symbol will be changed to AOBC.

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