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A Gun By Any Other Name: Smith & Wesson Wants To Change Its Moniker

What's in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet

This famous dialogue from Shakespeare's romantic tragedy "Romeo and Juliet" may not be ringing true when companies are concerned. As companies grow vertically, it's deemed essential that their names broadly reflect their operations.

This quest has pushed Smith & Wesson Holding Corp SWHC 16.1% to consider a change in name.

The 164- year old company has been in the business of making guns since its inception. The current name was adopted in 2001 when Smith & Wesson Corp. was acquired by Saf-T-Hammer Corp. from Tomkins PLC in 2001, according to a report by NPR.

In a DEF 14A filing with the SEC, the company said among the agenda for a special meeting of stockholders to be held December 13 will be the approval of its corporate name change to American Outdoor Brands Corporation from Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation.

The name change has already been approved by the board and if approved by shareholders, it would be made effective on or about January 1, 2017. The ticker symbol of the shares is likely to be changed to ABOC from SWHC.

Smith & Wesson has been expanding beyond its traditional gun manufacturing business into other areas such as larger sports and outdoors market. The move towards a changed moniker, according to the company, was necessitated by the expansion of its strategic focus on the growing markets for shooting, hunting and rugged outdoor enthusiasts.

The fundamentally solid company's foray outside its core business could reap rich rewards, given the uncertainty surrounding gun legislation.

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