Vista Outdoor, the Anoka-based ammunition and outdoor products company, doubled its profits in the first quarter and bought businesses that make e-bikes and hunting apparel for women as it continued to ride an increased interest in outdoor activities.
"Fiscal year 2022 is off to a terrific start with our fourth consecutive quarter of record performance due to strong demand, great execution and a powerhouse line-up of innovative outdoor products," said Vista Outdoor Chief Executive Chris Metz in a news release.
First-quarter revenue increase 38% to $663 million over the same period last year. Earnings more than doubled to $102.7 million, or $1.71 per share. Both handily exceeded analysts' expectations.
Performance during the quarter was balanced between the outdoor product and shooting-sports segments.
Metz said in an analysts call Thursday that the outdoor resurgence in 2020, driven by the pandemic, hasn't slowed down, citing industry reports on camping, cycling, ammunition and shooting trends, as well as visits to state and national parks.
The shooting sports segment — which includes Federal, Remington and other ammunition brands — saw revenue increase 39% to $463 million. Hunting and shooting accessories rose 37%. Gross profit for the segment rose 115% to $181 million.
The integration of Remington, which Vista bought last fall, has gone better than expected, Metz said. "Remington in one word has been 'wow,'" Metz said in an interview. "We've brought a whole lot of focus to it."
The company has ramped up hiring at Remington's manufacturing plant in Little Rock, Ark., and has been able to find synergies in its Federal, Speer and CCI brands to help alleviate some of the industrywide backlog of ammunition created by the surge of almost 10 million new gun owners in the last year.
Vista recently launched a new loyalty program for ammunition brands and will be launching a subscription program for core ammunition customers in the next few months.
Sales in the outdoor products segment — which includes helmets and bike accessories as well as CamelBak hydration products and Camp Chef outdoor cooking items — rose 38% to $200 million.
During the quarter, Vista bought the Twin Cities-based Venor, a hunting-inspired apparel line for women, and Colorado-based e-bike maker QuietKat. Vista did not disclose the size of either acquisition.
E-bikes are one of the fastest growing segments of almost any outdoor products, and Metz said the appeal of QuietKat was its foundation in bringing hunters deeper into the backcountry.
Like other manufacturers, Vista has been dealing with supply-chain constraints. It is continuing to invest in the area and said it might increase use of air freight services in the second half of the year to help move inventory.
Vista offered guidance for its second quarter saying it expects revenue in the range of $710 million to $730 million and earnings per share in the $1.70 to $1.80 range, a big jump from the $575 million in revenue and $1.10 a share profit reported in the same period last year.
Shares of Vista Outdoor closed Thursday at $41.22, up more than 5%.