Gun maker Smith & Wesson to change name to American Outdoor Brands Corp.

Lucy Handley, special to CNBC
Convention goers look at weapons at the Smith and Wesson booth last April at the 2015 NRA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn.
Karen Bleier | AFP | Getty Images

Shareholders of gun maker Smith & Wesson "overwhelmingly" voted to change the company name to American Outdoor Brands Corp., the company said in a Tuesday statement.

The new name will go into effect on or about Jan. 1, after which the company will be traded under the ticker "AOBC."

President and CEO James Debney said in a statement that the company is excited about the results of the vote.

"We believe that American Outdoor Brands Corp. is a name that truly represents our broad and growing array of brands and businesses in the shooting, hunting and rugged outdoor enthusiast markets," Debney said.

The proposed name change was approved by Smith & Wesson's board of directors last month to reflect the broader product offering of the company, it said in a statement on its website on Nov. 7.

Smith & Wesson proposes company name change
Smith & Wesson proposes company name change

Debney added, "Looking ahead, and operating as American Outdoor Brands Corp., we intend to continue building upon our portfolio, focusing on brands and products that best meet the needs and lifestyle of our target consumers."

The brand name Smith & Wesson will remain for its firearms products, operating as Smith & Wesson Corp., a subsidiary of American Outdoor Brands Corp..

Horace Smith and D.B. Wesson first produced revolvers under their names in 1852. Its 44 Magnum handgun is famous for being Clint Eastwood's weapon of choice in the "Dirty Harry" series of films. As well as manufacturing firearms, it makes tree saws, knives and accessories such as cleaning products.

It bought knife and tool maker Taylor Brands for $85 million in August and laser-sight manufacturer Crimson Trace for $95 million in the same month, as part of its diversification efforts.

The latter will form part of the company's new electro-optics division, while the acquisition of survival equipment maker UST brands for $32.3 million in November was described as important to its "vision to become the leading provider of quality products for the shooting, hunting and rugged outdoor enthusiast," as per an investor relations presentation this month.

Smith & Wesson's revenue for 2016 was $723 million and the company estimates 2017 revenue of $920 million to $930 million.

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