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Vista Outdoor (NYSE:VSTO)
Q1 2020 Earnings Call
Aug 08, 2019, 9:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, good day, and welcome to the Vista Outdoor fiscal 2020 first-quarter earnings call. Today's conference is being recorded. At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Kelly Reisdorf. Please go ahead, Madam.

Kelly Reisdorf -- Vice President, Investor Relations

Thank you, Gail. Good morning, and thank you for joining us for our first-quarter fiscal-year 2020 earnings call. With me this morning are Chris Metz, Vista Outdoor chief executive officer; and Mick Lopez, senior vice president and chief financial officer. Before we begin, I'd like to remind everyone that during today's call, we will be making several forward-looking statements, and we make these statements under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.

These forward-looking statements reflect our best estimates and assumptions based on our understanding of information known to us today. These forward-looking statements are subject to the risks and uncertainties that face Vista Outdoor and the industries in which we operate. We encourage you to review today's press release and Vista Outdoor's SEC filings for more information on these risk factors and uncertainties. Please also note that we have posted presentation materials on our website at vistaoutdoor.com, which supplement our comments this morning and include a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures.

With that said, I'll turn the call over to you, Chris.

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Kelly, and good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us today as we discuss our results for the first quarter of our fiscal-year 2020. Since this is the first time speaking with many of you and our new fiscal year, I thought I'd start with a discussion of where Vista has been, where we are today, and most importantly, where I see us going in fiscal-year '20 and beyond. As a threshold data, before we can dig into where we are and where we are going, it's critically important that we start with the current state of the market.

First, as I'm sure everyone knows, the end markets for our ammunition and hunt, shoot accessories businesses remain soft. While we had a good quarter in general in our ammunition business only being down 1.5% year over year versus a market that we estimate is down mid- to high single digits, we continue to face unprecedented challenges. Yet again, we absorbed the impact of another customer bankruptcy with a key distributor, Ellett Brothers, parent of the United Sporting filed Chapter 11 in June. This move flooded the market with vastly discounted product in June affecting both our ammunition and hunt, shoot accessories businesses in Q1.

We also saw a continued soft demand for rimfire putting even more pressure on our ammunition business. As a clear market leader in rimfire, the downturn in this ammo category is hitting us fairly hard. That said, the team continues to do extraordinary things to mitigate these challenges, and I believe, and I fully believe, that we are in a better position in our overall ammo business than our competition in terms of market strength, product innovation and overall leadership positioning. I will talk a bit more about this in a minute.

Another headwind that we continue to deal with is the effects of tariffs on goods being shipped in from China. As you probably realize, much of the outdoor products industry sources goods or components from suppliers in China. Quite simply, it's still the most cost-effective way to produce many of the highly engineered products that we bring to market. In our first quarter, many orders from retailers were delayed or canceled as they took a wait-and-see approach to how the tariffs would impact the products they carry.

We also know that consumers are becoming more cautious in their buying. We continue to work with our entire supply chain, including both suppliers and retailers to minimize the impact. As many of you are now aware, just recently the U.S. announced that on September 1, it will implement another tariff of 10% on approximately 300 billion worth of Chinese goods that are not already facing tariffs.

This is considered the List 4 and unfortunately impacts Vista Outdoor's brands and most of our competitors in a much more meaningful way than previous tariffs have. The List 4 products include previously excluded products such as bicycle helmets and sporting optics, which have a larger impact upon our BellGiro and Bushnell brands. The tariffs will include components for water bottles, which will also impact our CamelBak business, which previously been unaffected. We testified in June as to why these products and others should be -- should not be included in the new tariffs.

The U.S. Trade Representative has yet to say if any products will be excluded, so we are moving forward assuming all products on List 4 will remain on the list. We continue to work with our vendors and retail partners to find ways to mitigate these costs, but ultimately, this will impact our business and our results in the coming quarters. We've adjusted our guidance in response to the headwinds our brands face on tariffs and Mick will walk you through this in a bit more detail in a few minutes.

There are a few other factors that adversely affected our Q1 results as well. We had an unseasonably cold and wet spring, which limited the amount of outdoor activity and had a trickle-down effect on new purchases for our bike, hike and run products. Additionally, the firearms market was very weak in the first quarter, despite NICS checks being up in April, May and June relative to prior years, sales of firearms were, frankly, terrible. Savage, which is part of the company for Q1, was down more than 40% year over year.

So with these challenges and headwinds as a backdrop to the environment we are currently operating in, I want to share with you what we are doing to mitigate, as well as the progress we are making on our turnaround. In our biggest business, ammunition, our business in fiscal-year Quarter 1, we were only down 1.5%. This is the second quarter in a row of relatively flat year-over-year growth. While this is nothing to crow about, this is a leading indicator for the extraordinary effort our team is delivering.

We believe the market is improving but still down mid- to high single digits and thus, we believe we are taking share. A good indication of our share gains is in fact our share of federal excise tax or FET, which increased from 17.5% in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2018 to 22.5% in the first quarter of calendar year 2019, up 5 percentage points quarter over quarter. While this is by no means a perfect measurement, it is a strong indicator of our share in the commercial markets. Our gains are not just in the commercial space however.

In fact, in the law enforcement and military space, we are increasing our industry-leading share position with a number of recent coveted wins. We just recently won the duty round contract with the LAPD, or the Los Angeles Police Department, who chose our Speer G2 round. This is a huge win for us as it displaces our biggest competitor and will undoubtedly have a trickle-down effect on other police precincts who look to the LAPD stamp of approval for their own departments. This win accompanied with our NYPD win recently now gives us the two largest police departments in America.

We also recently won a sizable contract with the KSA, or The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. And finally, we just won the army's recently awarded frangible contract award. These three wins were not forecasted at the beginning of the year but will contribute greatly to our Q3 and Q4 and help offset some of the headwinds we continue to face. Another focus area to help our ammo top-line growth is by partnering with leading firearms manufacturers to develop unique and innovative rounds specifically designed to meet with their products.

This is one of the benefits our ammo team can now take advantage of with Savage no longer being a part of Vista Outdoor. We're already working with three leading manufacturers on such products and you will begin to see this come to fruition in the back half of this fiscal year. Given the unprecedented downturn of the ammo market, it continues to be what I would call a lumpy market. We feel like we see light to an upward trajectory but it won't be linear.

In fact, the way the business is looking to shape up for the rest of the fiscal year, we're going to have a very challenging second quarter for a variety of reasons. But feel very confident in the back half given the contract award wins I just mentioned, the orders we have already secured around Black Friday and some new products that we'll be launching later this year. I'm also very proud of the way our ammo team has reacted to the prolonged market softness and continued competitive price pressure. Our team has and will continue to relentlessly take out costs, improve factory efficiencies, procure better and take advantage of the lowered commodity prices we are starting to see.

In total, we have good confidence on our path to recovery on both the top line and margin line as we move through the back half of this fiscal year. On the outdoor product side of our house, we are making good progress. As many of you know, we have spent the past year bringing in new leaders and helping our leaders reconstitute their businesses, reinstilling a founder's mentality focused on product innovation and world-class marketing and building a winning culture. We certainly have a ways to go, but I'm proud of the progress we are making, so let me share a little on each of our key brands and our key business units.

In our hunt, shoot accessories business, similar to our ammo business, we continue to face a very soft end market. However, in hunt, shoot, we also face the additional challenge of tariffs with a fair bit of our product being contract manufactured in China. In Q1, the business was down 8% and holding its own, but the focus for this team over the past year or so has been to rebuild its profitability while developing a robust pipeline such that when we do launch new products, they're both innovative and accretive. A great example of this is our new golf laser range finder, which hit the market in Q1.

It is the industry's first range finder that can capture the effects of humidity and altitude, both big deals for avid golfers. The new Pro XE is premium priced, high margin and we can't build enough of it. Another great example in the hunt, shoot accessories category is in Blackhawk where we just launched a series of new patented holsters called T-Series that have been thoroughly researched with law enforcement agents, special forces and enthusiasts alike. The result is arguably the world's best handgun holster built in our own Montana manufacturing plant and a product that will be our best selling and highest-margin holster in the company.

Our CamelBak business is showing signs of recapturing its footing. We know we have lost share over the last -- over the past couple of years but under an entire new leadership team, we just finished the best quarter we have had since our acquisition of the brand with profits in Quarter 1 being up significantly year over year. Although one quarter certainly does not make a trend, we are seeing strong indicators from our team and expect continued momentum. The team is marketing more effectively with its consumer base online and is winning space with key retailers and has a much more robust consumer research product road defined and has a more innovative product line up coming out later this year.

If you're attending our investor conference next month, I believe you'll be excited with the changes we are making at CamelBak. In our action sports business. We were down 5% year over year. However, this masked the underlying trends, and I am encouraged by what we are accomplishing.

Despite an unseasonally wet and cold spring, both the Giro and Bell grew their specialty businesses, which as you know, the specialty dealer is the heartbeat of the brands. In fact, it was one of the better first quarter's we have had in years. Both of these brands continue to develop unbelievably innovative product. In fact, in Giro Snow, we moved ahead of Oakley and to the No.

2 market share position in snow goggles with our extremely innovative line of Vivid goggles. This, along with a very healthy snow season, sets us up nicely for this coming winter season. Unfortunately, for action sports, our Bell mask business did not have a good Q1 and this brought the rest of the business down. However, much of the mask business decline was because of their largest customer deciding to stop ordering in June to manage their own inventories.

We see this as a timing issue and have already begun to see orders come back in July. Our Camp Chef business continues to be a star within Vista Outdoor. Despite a very hard year-over-year comparison, you may recall that we had a very successful grill guide campaign in Quarter 1 last year. The team finished Quarter 1 this year flat and on plan.

We have partnered with the iconic Guy Fieri and created an entire online and retail marketing campaign, which we recently launched in our flat top stove system. We will follow this up with another marketing campaign toward the end of the second quarter with a brand-new pellet grill, which should set the standard for all pellet grills. And although we launched the end of this quarter, much of the impact will be realized in quarters three and four. If you haven't seen the marketing videos I am referring to, I encourage you to Google Camp Chef and Guy Fieri, you will be impressed.

Guy has been a long time Camp Chef loyalist, and has been wonderfully generous with his time and support of our brand. We should continue to see growth from this terrific team and business. In addition to building out and strengthening our brands, we are very focused on reducing our overall G&A structure while investing in support functions that add demonstrable value and revenue across our brands. We call these centers of excellence.

A great example of this is in e-commerce where we have quietly been building up a center of excellence to leverage across all Vista Outdoor brands. The genesis for building our e-commerce is to ensure that our consumers can purchase our products in the way they choose, when and where they want including directly from us. It's for this reason that we put such an emphasis on continuing to build up our e-commerce capabilities. Quite simply, we must provide our end users better experiences and get them access to our products when and where they want to shop.

In fact, just a few weeks ago, we launched a brand-new, direct-to-consumer site for our Federal Premium Ammunition. This is for our premium line of ammunition, and it's in direct response to our consumers' biggest request of not being able to find certain premium rounds at their favorite retail stores. However, a key reason for also creating this site is to gather consumer insights to help us create new products, help us forecast trends better, help us manage inventory and product builds in a much better fashion, which ultimately allows us to share all of this information with our retail partners and enable us to create better product assortments in both their stores and online. And we'll be selling all these products at full MSRP.

Across our hunt, shoot accessories businesses, we have seen growth in U.S. e-commerce channels, up double digits in the first quarter, and our Bushnell, Bushnell Golf and Primos brands are off to a good start in direct-to-consumer sales with five times growth over last year. Again, all of this is additive to what our retail partners are selling. Primos recently launched an online custom mill shop that allows hunters or their family and friends to order custom personalized high-performance Primos box calls directly from Primos woodworks in Mississippi.

Initially conceived as a graduation gift idea, the Primos team ran a special father's day promotion, which generated excellent engagement and contributed over 30% of the product sales so far this year. Additionally, our Eagle Industries' tactical brand, which is a leader in military equipment business, just launched their e-commerce website in July to bring its top-of-the-line duty here to the commercial market. Product offerings include everything from carriers and rigs to packs, bags, pouches and more. We're very excited about expanding our consumer base with this top-tier gear offerings.

As a final example of our progress in e-commerce, CamelBak had an incredibly successful Amazon prime day with nearly 47,000 units sold. This is a 57% increase in year-over-year sales. Of particular note, a spotlight deal of our new Eddy+ and Podium water bottles, generated over 24,000 units sold. As we continue to build on our relationships with our end consumers, we have responded to their feedback to be able to buy our products in the way they choose, when and where they want.

All totaled, since October of 2018, when we hired our chief digital officer, Bob Steelhammer, we have launched 13 new e-commerce branded websites where we either significantly improve the overall customer experience or enable e-commerce where there was none. The new sites include Bell and Giro, Blackhawk, Bushnell, Bushnell Golf, Federal, CCI, Speer ammunition and Primos among others. We have developed two strategic relationships that are helping us to accelerate our speeding growth in the direct-to-consumer channel. The first relationship is with Salesforce where we have partnered with them to provide both commerce and marketing cloud services.

To enable this strategy via systems integration for e-commerce services is Lyons Consulting Group, a partner of Capgemini. We continue to build the digital team and focus on this digital center of excellence. We are focused on three key areas. First, digital marketing, which is about acquisition and conversion.

Second, content and creative, which is the user experience. And third, is development and operations. We will leverage this center of excellence by allowing our brands to access resources that help them continually improve their velocity of change and connection with our end consumer. So as you can see, we're delivering on our promise to increase our e-commerce capabilities.

We still have much more to do and more is certainly already in the works, but I'm proud of the brands for embracing this challenge and getting us closer to where we need to be. Throughout our turnaround, we've continued to balance improving the business for now while simultaneously working on the future. Although our top capital allocation priority is and will continue to be paying down debt, we have also been thinking about and even looking at what might be compelling businesses to add to our existing businesses. Simply said, although we need to wait to consummate an acquisition until our debt is paid down to levels we have communicated previously, we cannot afford to wait to start evaluating or we will be behind the curve and will not grow our EPS as fast in outer years as all of us expect we can.

When we think of M&A in the future, you should expect to see a noticeable change in our approach. We'll take a much more disciplined approach in which categories we'll evaluate, how much we'll pay, and the overall size of the businesses we will be willing to acquire. We envision a strategy that begins with thoughtful tuck-in acquisitions that bolster the position of the current portfolio we have and increase the speed at which these brands can achieve leadership economics. I can assure you that we'll resist the temptation to jump into new categories too quickly.

In addition, there are potential opportunities that we believe could bring value to Vista Outdoor and our centers of excellence. As an example, there may be an interesting and compelling opportunities in technology platforms that could accelerate growth for all of our brands and leverage our model. We truly believe that with an improved foundation and a more disciplined and strategic approach to M&A, we will grow the company for the long term and one that will consistently deliver shareholder value over time. Now before I turn the time over to Mick to go through the financials, I want to share one more important item.

Because of the continued market headwinds and ongoing press release we faced with increased tariffs, we are putting the final touches on a further reduction in G&A that we will -- that we believe will not only reduce our total overhead and thus our costs, but also make us more nimble and effective. We can't afford to continue to hold that the pressure goes away. We need to control our destiny by affecting what we can. Although, we are not quite ready to announce the changes, we are close and we'll be able to share more detail at our upcoming investor conference and certainly on our next earnings call.

I hope this discussion has been instructive to give you a better idea where Vista is today and where we're headed in the future. We have strong growth strategies identified for our brands, we continue to build leaner but stronger functional support. We've got excellent brand talent that is getting better every day. We continue to challenge and take out unnecessary cost, and we're instilling a winning culture that starts with achieving commitments.

While there will be lumpiness in our results as the market continues to shake out, we can certainly see the path to an upward trajectory, and I'm confident that we can achieve real profitable growth across our brands in the coming quarters. With that, I'll turn the remainder of the time over to Mick to discuss the financials. Mick?

Mick Lopez -- Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Chris. Good morning, everyone. Before going through the numbers, I would like to give some context as to what we've accomplished also as well where we're headed. We are pleased the long and challenging sale process of Savage is behind us.

The sale presents an inflection point in our portfolio reshaping and allows us to narrow our strategic focus, simplify our organization, but most importantly, it is a big step toward our debt reduction goals. You will find on Page 8 of the management presentation that we have provided, a complete set of pro forma financials on Savage firearms to assist you in evaluating our business going forward. Building on the restructuring efforts for fiscal-year 2019, the key CFO priorities for fiscal 2020 are strengthening our overall cash performance through improvements to inventory and capital expenditures and continued cost reductions through the simplification of our organization. We continue to complete detailed monthly operating and forecast reviews as part of our profitability improvement efforts.

We started CFO team reviews for capital expenditures and as a result, forecasted significantly less capital from last year without affecting innovation of new products. We are now focused on monthly CFO team meetings to optimize inventory that should improve customer service fill rates, inventory turns and ultimately, our return on invested capital. Now as the increased focus on inventory continues, we expect to see similar results in our capital expenditures optimization program thus far. Our first and foremost financial goal remains reduction of leverage by paying down our debt.

As of the first quarter, we had approximately $738 million of net debt. Using the proceeds from the divestiture of Savage, we were able to reduce our debt by a total of $157 million. Our net long-term debt balance after the divestiture of Savage is $581 million, which is major milestone as we have effectively cut our debt in half from our peak of $1.17 billion. In particular, please note that we have used the Savage proceeds to pay off the $95 million first-term loan and apply the remaining funds toward our asset backed loan revolver.

In order to maintain adequate financial flexibility, we will plan to maintain the $40 million junior term loan into our seasonal cash inflows allow ample liquidity, which is expected in the third quarter. As you can see on Slide 3, are expected leverage ratio after proceeds from the sale of Savage's 5.9 times. Our fixed-charged coverage ratio at the end of the first quarter was 1.37 times, which is above 1.15 times requirement. We look forward to sharing more with you regarding our capital allocation strategy at the investor day that Chris mentioned earlier.

Our goals remain to allocate capital to pay down debt and advance the organic growth initiatives that we see. Although there were multiple external revenue challenges in the first quarter, you will find in the results a 14% year-over-year reduction to our adjusted operating expenses, which is 6% on an organic basis. This reflects a consistent, committed and disciplined level of execution to right-size our company and in particular, our corporate overhead in light of recent divestitures. Let's review our first-quarter consolidated results.

We have provided you today with both as reported and adjusted results on an organic basis in our press release classes to assist you in your understanding of the underlying numbers in comparison to prior periods. My comments today are going to focus on our adjusted results. So let's turn to Slide 4 in the presentation. The company reported first-quarter sales of $460 million down 13.1% from the prior-year quarter or down 7.4% on an organic basis.

The year-over-year decrease primarily reflects the deterioration in the firearms business and overall continued softness in the hunting and shooting accessories divisions of other products. Ammunition, as Chris said, was almost flat decrease of 1.5%, compared to the prior year. On a GAAP basis, gross margin was $95 million for the quarter, down 113 million -- down from 113 million in the prior-year quarter. On an adjusted organic basis, gross profit was $95 million, down 9 million from 104 million in the prior-year quarter.

Of the 9 million decline, approximately 3.6 million was attributed to firearms. On a GAAP basis, operating expenses were $100 million, down 35% from the prior year. Adjusted operating expenses for the first quarter were 89 million, down 14.1% from the prior-year quarter. Adjusting for the sale of eyewear, bringing expenses were down a total of 6%.

The primary driver in the decline of operating expenses is the result of cost-reduction actions taken within our business segment. As Chris mentioned, we need to make our corporate organization more efficient and you can expect to hear more about this topic at our upcoming investor day. Interest expense for the quarter was 11 million, compared to 13 million in the prior-year quarter. The decrease was due to the reduction in our debt balance.

The average borrowing rate in our first quarter was 5.7%, compared with 5.8% in the prior-year quarter. And the net debt balance at the end of the first quarter was $738 million. Subsequent to the first quarter, the total net debt balance was offset by the sale Savage by a total of 157 million for a new balance of about 581 million. On a GAAP basis, our tax rate for the quarter was negative 5%.

Our adjusted tax rate for the quarter was 10%. The adjusted tax rate was primarily affected by unfavorable discrete items posted in the quarter. GAAP net income for the quarter was negative 16.6 million resulting in a GAAP earnings per share of negative $0.29, compared with the negative $0.91 in the prior-year quarter. We recorded adjusted net income of negative 4.7 million, which is down from breakeven in the prior-year quarter resulting in adjusted EPS of negative $0.08, compared with $0.00 in the prior-year quarter.

Year-to-date free cash flow was negative 45 million, which is a difficult comparison with the 70 million in the prior-year period. As a reference, prior to fiscal-year 2019, our average first-quarter cash flow generation has been historically negative $25 million. As you may recall, the first-quarter fiscal-year 2019 free cash flow was unusually strong because in the fourth quarter of fiscal-year '18, we took advantage of accounts payable discount and prepaying interest. We also had the benefits of timing for accounts receivable and corporatewide inventory reductions.

In the current quarter, we have the opposite effect as we built up inventory in anticipation of summer sales and to improve our customer fill rates. The result was similar to years prior to fiscal '19 with higher inventory and accounts payable in the first quarter. We expect the moderation of cash outflows in the second quarter, as well as the usual seasonal cash inflows starting in the third quarter to achieve our guidance. Turning to Slide 5.

We will now review operating segment results. Shooting sports recorded first-quarter sales of 238 million, down 8% from 258 million in the prior-year quarter. Ammunition revenue decreased 1.5%, compared to prior year as a result of continued softness in both rimfire and .223/5.56 markets offset by increased demand for centerfire ammunition. Firearms revenues decreased by $17 million, which is minus 41%, compared to the prior-year quarter.

First-quarter gross profit in shooting sports was 39 million, down 12% from 45 million in the prior-year quarter. The year-over-year decrease was the result of lower sales volume partially offset by favorable overall commodity pricing. Turning to Slide 6. First-quarter sales and outdoor products were 222 million, down 18% when compared to the prior-year quarter.

On an organic basis, adjusting for the sale of eyewear, sales were down 7% year over year. Organic adjusted gross profit was $56 million, which is a decrease from 60 million in the prior-year quarter. Gross profit declines are primarily volume driven as a result of lower demand for hunting and shooting accessories. We were able to hold the overall gross profit rate flat in the first quarter when compared to the prior-year quarter.

This was largely due to efforts focused on cost containment. Turning to guidance on Slide 7. As we think about the remainder of our fiscal-year 2020, we have recalibrated our outlook to reflect the expected results for the full year adjusting out the Savage Arms business looking forward. Our guidance reflects our ownership of the firearms business to the first quarter.

In conjunction with the set of pro forma financials included on Slide 8, we want to provide you with a picture of our remaining businesses going forward. We have updated our full-year fiscal 2020 revenue guidance from 1.94 to 2.03, down to a range of 1.79 to 1.89 billion. This simply reflects the loss of Savage Arms revenue for the last three quarters. We have lowered interest expense from a range of 45 to 50 million to an approximate annual expense 40 million.

This reflects keeping the junior term loan in place until the third quarter. We expect an adjusted tax rate of negative 25%, updated from 5%. We expect full-year adjusted earnings per share in the range of $0.10 to $0.25, which has been updated to reflect three matters. First, the Savage EPS impact was anticipated in our previous guidance at $0.10 to $0.15 for the full year.

First, we subtract the midpoint of $0.125, then we also subtracted the pro forma loss of $1 million or $0.01 because it was projected to be at least breakeven for the first quarter for a total Savage Arms related decrease of $0.13. So the adjusted EPS guidance we had before of $0.28 to $0.38 is decreased by a total of $0.13 to a range of $0.15 to $0.25, all solely due to Savage firearms. Lastly, the recently announced lift for tariffs on imported goods from China may increase costs up to 10 million beginning on September 1. While we are working to mitigate these tariffs, we have taken a fraction of the risk and reduced the lower end of the guidance by $0.05 to reflect this uncertainty.

As such, only our lower-end guidance then moves from $0.15 down to $0.10. As the trade discussion continues, we will update our guidance as that information becomes available. Looking to the subsequent quarters in our fiscal-year 2020, there are a series of headwinds and timing issues we are facing particularly in our current Quarter 2. We anticipate more pressure in ammo sales and margins in the second quarter as a result of accelerated Black Friday discounts and competitive pricing in pistol as a major competitor just announced a drop-in market pricing on 9mm.

We have strong mitigation plans in place that we are executing to effect these pressures and tariff uncertainty in the second half of the year. These actions include the following. First, a large G&A cost reduction to supplement business unit cost reductions already under way. The benefits of known commodity and currency tailwinds.

Three, ammunition manufacturing efficiencies that are planned and being rolled out. Four, sales volumes led by contracts Chris mentioned in law enforcement and military contracts we have recently won. Five, lower seasonal discounting. Six, improved product mix.

And lastly, reduced interest expense from additional reductions to our debt balance. From a cash flow standpoint, we expect better second-quarter performance than the first quarter with positives strong cash flows delivered in the back half of the year as fall hunting and holiday season sales are collected. We would like to summarize our fiscal-year 2020 guidance as follows. Sales in the range of 1.79 to 1.89 billion, interest expense of approximately 40 million and adjusted tax rate of approximately negative 25%, adjusted earnings per share in the range of $0.10 to $0.25, capital expenditures of approximately 40 million, free cash flow in a range of 30 to 40 million.

We anticipate R&D spending to be approximately 30 million. We would like to call out that I've missed the cost-reduction initiatives, as the management team, we have purposely protected research and development dollars to continue producing an aggressive product innovation pipeline. We expect full-year EBITDA margins of approximately 6%. We also expect shooting sports gross margins for the full year in the mid-teens and outdoor products gross margins for the full year in the mid-20s.

For the second quarter, specifically with the divestiture of the Savage Arms business, we expect shooting sports gross margins to be in the low to mid-teens and second-quarter gross margins in outdoor products in the low to mid-20s. In conclusion, we have made much progress but there is still much more to do. We will look forward to updating you on the evolution of our strategy. Our financial model and industry dynamics in more detail at our investor day in September.

Now we will open the line and take your questions.

Questions & Answers:


Operator

[Operator instructions] Your first question is coming from Scott Stember from C.L.King. Please go ahead. Your line is open.

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Scott are you there? You might be on mute.

Scott Stember -- C.L. King and Associates -- Analyst

I'm sorry about that. Yeah, I'm mute. Thanks again for taking my questions. Just a question about the pricing environment.

It seems the last couple of quarters, up until 1Q that things had been firming up and talking about the discounting I guess, starting to abate a bit. Now obviously, with the bankruptcy that you guys talked about, seems like things have started to decline again. Maybe just frame out for us where -- within historical range of the last couple of years where pricing is right now? Have we taken a step down further than where we were a year ago and what you guys can do to potentially offset that?

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So Scott, there is a number of factors that are affecting pricing. I mean the first one you mentioned, which was the bankruptcy, we see this as not a long-term impact, but certainly affected our first quarter where we saw the liquidation of a lot of our products. And our competitors saw the same thing.

That should be behind us. The bigger concern is on a couple of the calibers within ammunition. So the .223/5.56 continues to be a discounted product, and I would say year over year it's about the same. We continue to see about the same level of pricing.

9mm unfortunately has come down. We've just learned on July 1, our business competitor has taken their pricing down, and so we've had to adjust our business model accordingly. So that's probably the only change that we see at this point from a pricing standpoint. Rimfire, although not a pricing issue, continues to be a challenge for us.

We're clear market share leaders. It's a good profit category, very good profit category for us and demand is continuing to be soft. So what are we doing to mitigate it? I mean if these were all the actions that we tried to outline is, first and foremost is making sure that we're driving productivity and efficiencies in the factory, we're rightsizing our overhead structure to accommodate the volumes and the team is doing a wonderful job of that. We've got a bit of tailwind for the first time with commodity pricing, which you'll start to see read in as we move through the year, but our team is just banging away and creating some really, really nice wins.

I mean these commercial contracts that we haven't had before, some of them are certainly going to help. And I think that's why you see us stabilizing the top line. And I mentioned some of the margin issues, I mean, the second quarter we've got some timing issues. We've got Black Friday discounts that we took in the third quarter last year, we're going to take in the second quarter of this year, just happens to be a timing issue and some other things that are hampering our margin line.

But we continue to be price leaders and we'll stick the course there.

Scott Stember -- C.L. King and Associates -- Analyst

Got it. And in the past, you've alluded to the fact that you're considering the sale of the action sports business, but it seems like you're making some headway there, notably on the e-commerce side. Are we still thinking about potentially selling this business at some point?

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Scott, listen, we have something we continue to evaluate. And what we said last time was that BellGiro is a business that we just feel like we could improve and drive better value for when we do eventually sell the business. And our thoughts haven't changed, but we will continue to remain open and we've got some great folks in that business that are longtime industry veterans that really help us drive the innovation and the share positions we have in the marketplace. So we're -- I wouldn't say we're pleased with the current performance that's why we're holding on to it and improving it, but we'll continue to evaluate it as we go forward.

Scott Stember -- C.L. King and Associates -- Analyst

All right. And just last question before I get back in the queue. On the second quarter, you guys gave some good clarity on the gross margins for individual businesses but just looking at that and some commentary about the sales, I'm just trying to frame out to make sure that we're all aligned where the second quarter will be. And maybe just trying to frame that out versus the first quarter whether we would see an expanded loss in the second quarter with a sharper recovery in the back half of the year.

Is that how we should be looking at it?

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Why don't you start, Mick, and I'll add on.

Mick Lopez -- Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure. So we do have, as stated, some significant headwinds. We also have some timing issues that will have not as a good performance in the second quarter than the first. But yes, a strong recovery in the back half of the year.

We highlighted about seven things that we have already in place and are going to be helping us in the second half. As we all know, our profit is basically at -- in the pennies, it's breakeven. I think we're just talking very small amounts in the millions of dollars. So 5, 10 million adds $0.10, $0.20, very, very quickly.

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So Scott, I think you framed it up correctly, which is we -- despite the Savage decline in the first quarter, internally we largely hit our internal plan for all of our businesses in total, absence Savage. What we see now in the second quarter, if you look at them stack on stack is likely a worsening, and we're trying to do as much as we can to offset that. But we know a lot of the stuff we're doing is coming in the back half, and I don't want anybody to think that, oh boy, this is -- we're uncertain about it or it feels like a hockey stick or what have you.

I mean there are absolute contracts that we've won that contribute to it. There are mitigating actions that we've already taken that are coming to fruition. There are commodity tailwinds that we are locked into. So we can see a clear line of sight to it, but what brings the second quarter down a bit more than the first quarter is frankly some of the pricing that we've had to adjust to recently.

I mentioned the Black Friday where we've got a really good Black Friday lined up. I think we're not only going to increase our sales and our margins on Black Friday, but from an accrual standpoint, we've got a timing difference where we recognize most of the discounts in the third quarter last year. We're going to do it in the second quarter this year. So we should see a bounce in the third quarter because of that.

Mick Lopez -- Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

And we're taking action, Chris, right? We have already identified a cost-reduction program at the corporate in particular but also the great efficiencies that we have identified in manufacturing plants and some commodity tailwinds that will help us in the second half.

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So I mean there is no question. And we've talked before another center of excellence being our procurement and purchasing area. I mean the team is driving wonderful productivity year over year.

Unfortunately, it's being masked by a lot of the headwinds we're facing. Now we know that's going to abate at some time, and certainly, we're not projecting it any time soon, that's why we're continuing to take even further action to mitigate it.

Mick Lopez -- Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you

Operator

Our next question is coming from Jim Chartier from Monness, Crespi, Hardt. Please go ahead. Your line is open.

Jim Chartier -- Monness, Crespi, Hardt -- Analyst

Thanks for taking my question. On the new contract, I know in the past, the international investment there has been some volatility around timing for those contracts. On the law enforcement contracts, how certain is the timing of those and is there any chance it slips into next year?

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So good question. I mean, Jim, we're actually already starting to ship against the LAPD contracts. So that is done, dusted and we're starting to see small shipments.

Now the trickle-down effect because this is a nice halo effect. There's a lot of other precincts that don't have the capability of doing all the testing and everything like that. So they look to LAPD or NYPD for their stamp of approval. We haven't seen any of that yet, but LAPD is shipping, the Army frangible, it if it's not shipping, it's close to being shipped.

And then the KSA is -- that's always the one that's more lumpy than others. But that's coming and we'll be building it this quarter type of thing.

Jim Chartier -- Monness, Crespi, Hardt -- Analyst

OK. And then on the tariffs, other companies have been impacted by 10% tariffs previously that they've have said that they were able to largely mitigate the impact of the first 10% some with currency, some with concessions from them there. So how conservative are you guys being in the fire-sailing impact from the tariff for this year?

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So Jim, it's a question that we debated largely as we look to the guidance. So here is how we framed it up. All the tariffs that we've seen to date I think the team has done a really nice job of mitigating those.

And its partnerships with our vendors and movement of some of the product outside of China. So we've done everything we largely can. This 10% on the List 4, we've sized it up as at about 5 to 10 million of risk. Now we put $0.05 into the lower end -- taken the lower end of the guidance down by $0.05.

So clearly, we haven't reflected the worst-case scenario, which would be 10 million. But that is absent us going out and mitigating it. So what are we doing to mitigate it? Well, clearly there is going to be some price increases, and its unfortunate but the consumer is going to see that. Two, as the RMB or the Yuan is continuing to devalue, we're hitting our suppliers are because they have just effectively gotten a big profit bump.

So we're working with them and that's ongoing. Thirdly, our suppliers have been very good partners with us. And so, we've been working thinking that this List 4 was going to come to fruition at some point, so we're already working with some of our vendors and have been for many months now in moving their production to other locations. So 5 to 10 million is the risk.

10 million is the worst case, we don't anticipate that happening, we feel like we've guided to cover the tariffs as we know them today.

Jim Chartier -- Monness, Crespi, Hardt -- Analyst

OK. And then just on the prime day and the black Friday wins. I mean how do you guys manage to maintain -- or it sounds like you can increase profit building during those promotional events?

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. I'll give you a little bit more color on Black Friday. Black Friday is a huge promotion for a number of industries. And what happens, in particular, the ammo and the hunt, shoot accessories industry is, we discount pretty heavily that products.

So the consumer is getting a great, great deal, and our retailers participated and it ends up driving a lot of traffic and what have you. What's different this year than last year is not just the timing of the accrual, but our business is going to be up quite a bit year over year. So with the discounted product that is kind of a good news, bad news. However, our margins are going to be up as well.

So we feel pretty good about the fact that what we're executing this year is not only accretive to the top line but it's also accretive to the bottom line. So we feel good about where we're at. Yes, so overall, it creates a great relationship with our retailers and it drives a lot of foot traffic. So hopefully, we'll see trickle-down effect to our other categories as well.

Jim Chartier -- Monness, Crespi, Hardt -- Analyst

All right. Thanks. Best of luck.

Operator

Our next question is coming from Gautam Khanna from Cowen and Company. Please go ahead.

Gautam Khanna -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Yeah. I was wondering if you could talk to supply agreement with -- I think they're -- they didn't say they'll recompete now. What sort of -- what kind of contract structure do you have in place now the guarantee supply at a given price for the Lake City Ammo?

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Well, so the way the Lake City Ammo knows -- you guys know the contract is up, we should hear fairly soon the outcome of that contract. However, there is ongoing supply of that contract for the next 12 months, and we're locked into that price, we're locked into the volume. So there won't be any effect even with an announcement here soon over the next 12 months. But as we stated previously, we feel like we've taken the two best companies in the world in GD from the arm side and the government contract side and federal from the munition side.

And we've gotten the dream partnership, it doesn't guarantee a win, but certainly, we feel good about our position vis-a-vis the competitors. So we'll wait and see. And hopefully, the ball bounces our way on that one.

Gautam Khanna -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question is coming from Dave King from ROTH Capital. Please go ahead. Your line is open.

Dave King -- ROTH Capital Partners -- Analyst

Thanks, good morning. First on the second half improvements for ammo. How much of a benefit are you expecting from these new contracts versus how much is coming from new product benefits or possible industry improvement?

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Well, now let me start with the latter. We're not expecting any industry improvements. I've gone -- I've stopped trying to figure out when that industry is going to improve, but I do look at the leading indicators all the time. So we're looking at FET, we're looking at mix, we're looking at sell-through, we're looking at a lot of things that have us believing that we definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now that being said, we're trying to control our own destiny and that's what the ammo team is all about. They're grabbing the things that they know are sure and they're driving those hard. So the contracts are real, and we've been -- we work on contracts that are incremental every year, we just can't plan for all of them unless they're signed, and so we didn't plan for these. Unfortunately, we're going to get these contracts that I've mentioned that will mitigate whatever headwinds continue to persist.

From a new product standpoint, the team has been sensational. I mean, we've introduced more new products over the past 12 months and will over the next 12 months than I think we ever had in the company's history. I mean it's a tremendous amount of new products, and it's driving vitality with our consumer but it's also driving great relationships with our retail partners. And you'll see some of this coming this fall.

But frankly, some of the volume in the back half, as I mentioned, the Black Friday. Our sales are going to be up by quite a bit year over year that's why we we're expecting a good third quarter, and all that stuff is already contracted and agreed to. So there is a -- we saw a flatness in the last two quarters. We'll have a little bit of a tough quarter here in the second quarter for some of the reasons I mentioned, but as we move into the back half, you're likely to see ammo increase potentially year over year, which is good for us.

Dave King -- ROTH Capital Partners -- Analyst

OK. That's good color. Maybe turning to outdoor. Sounds like part of the drop this quarter was due to weather.

Do you have the monthly cadence for the quarter versus the sort of 37% organic decline? And then, I guess, just how should we think about that business into Q2, how has it trended in July and August so far?

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So it's interesting, it's kind of the tale of two cities that I mentioned with the wet weather. I mean the weather affects a number of our businesses, right, that are outdoor, everything from cooking and Camp Chef to hike, bike, run with CamelBak to just pure cycling with the Bell and the Giro brands. Despite the cold wet weather, the team actually got off to a pretty good start in April and in May in total.

What happened in June is we had a very large customer that we've built some inventory for and then they shut spigot off. And it was kind of a double whammy for us. We're starting to see that come back in July. So a timing issue.

I think the other businesses we're seeing -- the -- we expect them to continue to improve as we go forward. I mentioned CamelBak where we're excited about the prospects for that business. But I want to temper it, right? I mean we're in the middle of rebuilding that team and reconstituting it, but what we see are definitely green shoots. CamelBak -- I mean Camp Chef, we got some new product coming out.

I mentioned in my script, in the remarks that we've got a new pellet grill that we think is going to set the standard and a great campaign going with Guy Fieri, so we'll continue the momentum. But some of the new products that these new teams are working on you'll see us start to see come in as the ordering for spring season starts to come through here in the fall and winter time frame.

Operator

Our final question is coming from Mark Smith from Lake Street. Your line is open.

Mark Smith -- Lake Street Capital Markets -- Analyst

Good morning, guys. First, looking at the ammunition business, if we excluded rimfire, did we have ammunition business flat?

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

We don't give that type of color for competitive reasons. We don't dissect it down by categories. But I can tell you absent rimfire and .223/5.56, our business was really pretty good. I mean, our shotshells, we had a very good business in shotshells.

Our centerfire, very good business. So other than the -- it just so happens to be that pistol, particularly 9mm, and a lot of the Lake City volume, they're very, very high-volume categories and they continue to show struggles from a margin standpoint, but 9mm is growing like crazy. I mean, it's one of the hottest calibers out there and that's why people are trying to grab share of it. But yes, absent rimfire, I mean, we've done pretty well.

And we're not losing share, we don't believe in rimfire, it just happens to be we're such a big industry leader, such a big part of our business that when it suffers so does our whole business.

Mark Smith -- Lake Street Capital Markets -- Analyst

OK. And then looking at rimfire in particular. Is this still hangover from -- so long people couldn't get a hold of rimfire, it was tough for consumers to find it on shelves, did we just see a big buildup and we need to work through some of that supply that's out there?

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Mark, it's a good question and I wish I had a very solid answer for you, but honestly, we don't know. We know shooting is not down. People are still planking, people are still shooting a lot of rimfire product.

And as the market does eventually bounce back, we would expect this to bounce back strongly. There's been a lot of innovation on the -- or a lot of new introduction on the product side from firearms, manufacturers. One of the folks we're talking to now we're talking to about developing a kind of a rimfire product for them. So there's a lot of interest, always will be, in rimfire and planking and we expect it to bounce back.

Mark Smith -- Lake Street Capital Markets -- Analyst

OK. And then secondly for me, if you can just talk a little bit about some of the benefits of the Savage divestiture that maybe are hard to quantify. First, REI, is it back online? Where is that at? What kind of potential impact could we see? And then secondly, if you speak just a little bit more to potential impact from working with some of these firearm manufacturers for some specialty ammunition for the guns that they make?

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Mark, so those are clearly two big benefits for us. And so REI, their new CEO, Eric Artz, and I have an ongoing dialogue, great discussion and they are excited to bring our products back in. I personally walked over a dozen REI stores and in kind of a blind shopper, if you will, mystery shopper, and I know when I ask about, hey, why are you guys not caring CamelBak, Camp Chef what have you, they're saying we want to, we're going to.

So Eric Artz has done a wonderful job of making sure that the REI associates understand the situation and that the product is going to come back in. But the frank answer is, those can take time, right? So they brought other competitors in and they want us back, but it's going to take some time, so it's not going to be an immediate boost to us but -- and hence, that's not the reason why we sold Savage, but we certainly should see a boost from that. Working with other firearm manufacturers, we've got three industry leaders in their categories that we're working with right now on developing very specialty rounds for them, which again is a great nod to the hustle and hard work that the ammo team is doing to take advantage of it.

Mark Smith -- Lake Street Capital Markets -- Analyst

Excellent. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question is coming from William Reuter from Bank of America. Please go ahead. Your line is open.

William Reuter -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Good morning and thanks for sneaking me in. My first question is on your slide where you show leverage, you show the 5.9 times at the end of the first quarter. I don't think that was pro forma for the Savage sale. And then you show the debt reduction.

Was the Savage sale deleveraging on a net basis?

Mick Lopez -- Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Very good question, Bill. And since we sold Savage at approximately six times, it doesn't delever very much from a ratio perspective, right? So we think the 5.9 will go down somewhat, but not significantly as a consequence of the final price that we received on Savage

William Reuter -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

OK. And then you mentioned that at this point, you're going to continue to try and turn around the BellGiro business. Are there other asset sales that you would consider or do you feel like you want to move forward with the rest of your businesses at this point?

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So what I don't want to do is send a message that we're looking at that fire-sailing companies because that's not the way we operate. We feel like we've sold two assets that didn't fit well for us, that would be in more valuable in other people's hands. We stated previously that we feel like BellGiro could be in that category, and we haven't changed our thoughts on other than the fact that we think there's improvements to be had.

There may be some other smaller brands that people knock on our doors that we contemplate, but we're not looking at any other wholesale changes at this point in our portfolio mix.

William Reuter -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

OK. And then just lastly, for me. With the underlying -- or I guess, with action sports continuing to decline, I know you have some exciting innovations you called out in certain of those sub brands. Do we think -- it would seem to me that the underlying growth rate of that category is not necessarily declining.

I guess do you think that is correct that the action sports segment continues to grow as a category and that you guys could return to growth later this year?

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Certainly. Yes. I mean that's -- the way we see it lining up is, we don't see big growth from that business. There is -- if you look at the trends in cycling in general, and you can look at all the bicycle companies or what have you, e-bikes are growing, mountain bikes has been a really, really strong category over the last number of years but that's flattened out, and road cycling is frankly down.

So -- and skiing has got pretty good trends, but particularly for those who innovate like us in goggles. So we kind of look at it as a lower growth business, but something that should certainly return to growth as we move forward with the innovations that we have, as well as coming off a strong snow season, which is always a harbinger for the next season because shelves are empty and they need to replenish.

William Reuter -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Great. I look forward to seeing some of that growth. Thank you.

Operator

Our last question is coming from Brett Andress from KeyBanc Capital Markets. Please go ahead. Your line is open.

Brett Andress -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Good morning. Just one for me. Chris, can you help us with the variance in mix versus what, I guess, is actually happening in the firearms market? I mean it's a metric we all track, but what do you think is causing that divergence? Is it just liquidated inventory flow into the retail or is there something else at play there?

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Well, Brett, if I don't fully answer your question just hit me up again here. But I can tell you what's affecting the mix. So first of all, with the liquidation from USC or Ellett Brothers, that certainly affect The Street pricing. You see it in a lot of hunt, shoot categories where there is lower pricing in some of these categories over the short term than any of us would've expected.

Secondly, as I mentioned rimfire. So we were still benefiting a year ago in the first quarter by higher pricing in rimfire. That pricing has come down, and so that's affecting our mix. I mentioned 9mm, which we've seen come down a little bit, that's affecting our mix.

Lake City, we promoted particularly at the consumer level to try to drive that category. That's affecting the mix. So there's a number of things that continue to affect it, but what again is being masked is a lot of the good stuff we're doing internally to drive manufacturing efficiencies and to drive cost out through better procurement initiatives. Or it would be a lot worse to be honest.

Brett Andress -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Got it. Yes, because I guess what I was getting at is, in your prepared remarks you said that NICS were up but the firearms industry underlying was I think you called it horrific or horrible. I was just trying to bridge the gap.

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

I'm sorry, Brett, I thought you were talking about mix rather than NICS. So the NICS data is -- I think it's a little bit confounding because it has been up, but remember that it's been so low for so long. I mean the firearms industry is, we really started to see a downturn as I think our competitors did at the beginning of this calendar year. So this isn't just the first quarter thing.

I mean this has been going on now for a couple of quarters and it's a -- NICS is a good indicator, FET is a good indicator. There is a number of things that are good indicators that all kind of point toward light at the end of the tunnel, but I don't know when that firearms business and NICS is affecting and is going to come back. I just don't.

Brett Andress -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Yeah, thanks for that complete information.

Operator

That concludes today's Q&A session. Mr. Metz, at this time, I will turn the conference back to you for any additional or closing remarks.

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, operator, and thank you to all of you for being on today's call. While we certainly have our challenges, I'm confident we've got the correct plan and the right team to execute it. As a reminder, we have our upcoming investor day, which we just announced will be held in New York City on September 10. At this event, we will -- this event, which will be webcast for those not able to attend, we'll share our vision of Vista Outdoor for the mid- and long term, as well as let you hear from our brand leaders on their goals and progress for fiscal-year '20 and beyond.

I look forward to seeing you on September 10 and/or updating you on the progress during our next quarterly call. Thank you.

Operator

[Operator signoff]

Duration: 68 minutes

Call participants:

Kelly Reisdorf -- Vice President, Investor Relations

Chris Metz -- Chief Executive Officer

Mick Lopez -- Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Scott Stember -- C.L. King and Associates -- Analyst

Jim Chartier -- Monness, Crespi, Hardt -- Analyst

Gautam Khanna -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Dave King -- ROTH Capital Partners -- Analyst

Mark Smith -- Lake Street Capital Markets -- Analyst

William Reuter -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Brett Andress -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

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