UPDATE: Gun maker American Outdoor slashes earnings forecast amid 'challenging market conditions'
American Outdoor Brands Corp. (AOBC) reported declines in earnings and sales Thursday, and projected continued struggles amid what the chief executive called "challenging market conditions," sending shares to levels not seen since 2015. The Smith & Wesson parent company announced fiscal second-quarter profit of $3.2 million, or 6 cents a share, on sales of $148.4 million, down more than a third from last year's $233.5 million. After adjustments for acquisition costs and other effects, the company claimed earnings of 11 cents a share, down from 68 cents a share a year ago. "Lower shipments in our firearms business reflected a significant reduction in wholesaler and retailer orders versus the prior year," CEO James Debney said in prepared comments, noting strong firearm sales in the same quarter a year ago were "driven by personal safety concerns and pre-election fears of increased firearm legislation." Analysts expected the tough second quarter, projecting on average adjusted earnings of 7 cents a share on sales of $141.8 million, according to FactSet, but the forecast was a different story. American Outdoor said it expects adjusted earnings of 7 cents to 10 cents a share on sales of $170 million to $180 million for the fiscal third quarter, and 57 cents to 67 cents a share on sales of $650 million to $675 million for the full fiscal year, well lower than its previous forecast and analysts' expectations. American Outdoor had previously guided for full-year adjusted earnings of $1.04 to $1.24 a share on revenue of $700 million to $740 million. Analysts on average expected third-quarter adjusted profit of 41 cents a share on sales of $209.4 million and full-year earnings of $1.09 a share on revenue of $710.8 million, according to FactSet. American Outdoor shares were halted ahead of the announcement, then dropped more than 15% when they began trading again at 4:35 p.m. Eastern time. The stock declined to less than $12.50 in after-hours action, prices shares have not touched in more than two years, after closing with a 3.1% gain at $14.68.
-Jeremy C. Owens; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
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