As iconic as the brand Smith & Wesson is, the name is not expansive enough for the company’s ambitions. Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. is asking its shareholders to approve changing the name to American Outdoor Brands Corp. But its firearms will keep their famous name.

The company says it will likely change its ticker symbol to AOBC from the current SWHC. The name change has already been approved by the company’s board of directors. Shareholders get a vote on Dec. 13, according to a statement from the company.

Smith & Wesson has been making guns since 1852. The move to rebrand comes as the company increasingly shifts its focus to what it calls “the growing markets for shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiasts.” The company made it a goal to diversify into the larger sports and outdoors market.

The company announced the strategy early this year. Over the years, Smith & Wesson has bought sports gear makers, as well as hunting knife and flashlight companies.

In a statement, CEO James Debney said the corporation owns “18 respected consumer brands” and “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.”

The company’s strategy seems to be paying off. In the most recent quarter, its profits nearly doubled to $33 million. Continue Reading

Not sure how to feel about this.

Smith & Wesson has been around since basically the beginning of guns, so changing anything seems kind of ridiculous.

But with Google, Facebook, and everyone else cracking down on anything gun related, changing the name of the parent company to American Outdoor Brands could help improve the company’s branding, along with opening the doors to diversifying even further.

The S&W name will remain on all of their guns, so it’s not like they’re changing that.

So all in all, this seems like a moot point for anything other than nostalgia.

What do you think?

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