Ammunition sales help power strong quarter at Vista Outdoor

Feb. 4—Vista Outdoor reported its sixth consecutive quarter of record-breaking financial results Thursday as the company cashed in on robust demand for ammunition.

The parent company of Lewiston's CCI/Speer and the largest manufacturer of ammunition in the United States earned $118 million in its third quarter for fiscal year 2022 that ended Dec. 26, according to a Thursday Vista Outdoor news release.

That compares with $78.9 million for the same time period in the previous fiscal year. Overall, the company has earned $360 million in the first three quarters of its 2022 fiscal year compared with $199 million for the same time last the previous fiscal year.

Sales in the sporting products or ammunition segment rose 60% to $460 million in the third quarter of the 2022 fiscal compared with that time frame in the previous fiscal year.

The company's outdoor products' segment saw sales rise too, reaching $335 million in the third quarter of fiscal year 2022. The outdoor segment includes brands such as Camp Chef, Giro, Bell and CamelBak.

Vista Outdoor's products are enhancing people's experiences at a time when interest in outdoor recreation is high, said Vista Outdoor CEO Chris Metz in the news release.

"Two years into the pandemic, people continue to find enjoyment in their newly acquired and rediscovered outdoor passions," Metz said. "We continue to see increasing levels of activity and participation across outdoor recreation whether it be golfing, camping, hiking, biking, hunting or recreational shooting."

A number of trends are bolstering ammunition sales such as increased sales of hunting licenses, high use of shooting ranges and strong participation in youth shooting leagues, Metz said in a conference call for stock market analysts Thursday.

"We believe our ammunition business is far stronger and more resilient than it was five years ago," he said. "This business continues to benefit from strong consumer demand and trends we see continuing for the foreseeable future. This is supported by nearly 14 million new diverse entrants into the sport, including a high percentage of people of color and women."

The growing number of customers for ammunition has contributed to a backlog for orders that Vista Outdoor is working to fill while it faces challenges with raw materials, Metz said.

"As you start to think about the general landscape in ammunition in total, the biggest constraint we see is not labor," he said. "It's really the material input. So if we were to expand capacity, there would still be a limit on the input materials. ...We're gathering as many materials as we possibly can, and we still know that there's a shortage in the future."

Williams may be reached at ewilliam@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2261.