SPRINGFIELD – Smith & Wesson spent $73.2 million over the past 12 months on capital projects related to relocating its headquarters, distribution and some manufacturing to Tennessee.
The gun maker — which is still headquartered in Springfield — expects to invest an additional $85 million to $90 million during fiscal 2024, executives told stock-market analysts in a conference call this week.
Also Thursday, Smith & Wesson announced earnings of $36.9 million, or 80 cents per share, compared with $194.5 million, or $4.08 per share, for the previous year.
Net sales were $479.2 million, a decrease of 44.5%, compared to $864.1 million in the previous year.
The entire gun industry is adjusting to the pandemic-induced shopping spree.
Wall Street analysts predicted poor financial figures for the company, expecting profit and revenue of between $12.2 million and $138.4 million.
On Friday, Smith & Wesson stock — SWBI on the Nasdaq — was up 20%.
- Read more: ‘We’re being attacked’: Smith & Wesson CEO says gun law forced move away from Springfield
- Read more: Ed Schultz, CEO of Austed Smith & Wesson, decades later after a deal with President Bill Clinton put him out of business
In Tennessee, Smith & Wesson is expected to complete construction in the next few weeks, said Jeff Muir, communications director for the Blount Partnership, the economic development arm of Blount County, where the factory will be located.
From mid-July to September, Smith & Wesson plans to move into manufacturing the equipment and office suites in September, with a grand opening in October.
On a conference call with financial analysts, Smith & Wesson CEO Mark P. Smith said he plans to add front office employees by the fall.
Smith & Wesson announced in 2021 that it would move headquarters, distribution and plastics manufacturing and assembly work on semi-automatic handguns and semi-automatic military-style rifles.
At the time, Smith & Wesson stated that the move was forced because of pending Massachusetts legislation – a bill that still has not passed – that could ban Smith & Wesson from manufacturing firearms in Massachusetts that violate state law. Under can not be sold here. That ban could also include assault-style rifles.
Smith & Wesson plans to move 750 jobs to Tennessee from Springfield and sites in Missouri and Connecticut.
From Springfield, about two-thirds of the 550 Springfield jobs being transferred, about 400, are blue-collar.
Smith & Wesson will keep 1,000 jobs in Springfield. Machining work and metal forging – two equipment-intensive operations with highly paid employees – would be located in Springfield, as well as work assembling the revolver.
CEO Smith said on the call that manufacturing in Springfield will continue indefinitely.
In Connecticut, Smith & Wesson expects the first layoffs to begin in early August, the company said in a filing with state labor officials in Connecticut. Smith & Wesson will close its plastics plant in Deep River, Connecticut, and lay off 129 employees from August to December 2024. The largest group, 71 employees, have no plans to leave the company until December 2024.
The company has not filed a layoff notice with the Massachusetts labor authorities.