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Nov. 5, 2020, 8:32 a.m. EST

Vista Outdoor swings to profit, beats expectations

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By Dieter Holger

Vista Outdoor Inc. swung to a profit and beat Wall Street's expectations in the latest quarter as shooting sports and outdoor product sales picked up, buoyed by e-commerce growth.

The Anoka, Minn.-based company said Thursday that profit was $79.6 million or $1.34 a share in the second quarter ended Sept. 27. A year prior, Vista booked a loss of $11.9 million or 21 cents a share

On an adjusted basis, profit was $1.10 a share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected adjusted earnings of 64 cents a share.

Sales rose to $575.2 million in the quarter from $445 million a year ago, driven by a resurgence in outdoor recreation activities and demand for personal protection. Analysts expected $506 million in sales.

Shooting sports drew $380 million in sales in the quarter, up 26% from a year ago, while outdoor products took in $195 million, rising 35% from the previous year.

The company's move into e-commerce was well-timed during the pandemic and boosted the company's earnings, helping free up cash for future acquisitions like Vista Outdoor's recent purchase of gunmaker Remington, said Sudhanshu Priyadarshi, chief financial officer of Vista Outdoor, in prepared remarks.

For the third quarter of fiscal year 2021, Vista Outdoor said it expects sales in the range of $510 million to $530 million and earnings per share of 55 cents to 65 cents.

Write to Dieter Holger at dieter.holger@wsj.com; @dieterholger

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