Tags: Winnebagos Profit Tops View as Sales Double

Winnebago's Profit Tops View as Sales Double

Thursday, 14 Oct 2010 01:46 PM

Motorhome maker Winnebago Industries Inc posted higher-than-expected quarterly earnings on Thursday as its independent dealer network stocked up on its largest and most profitable vehicles.

The results, the latest in a string of Street-beating numbers from Winnebago, suggested the recreational vehicle industry's multiyear downturn continues to moderate and that dealers are confident customers are heading back to RV showrooms.

Winnebago shares surged more than 8 percent in premarket trading.

But the numbers also served as a reminder of how much the RV business has suffered since 2004, when a combination of low gas prices, low interest rates and a booming housing market powered the industry to record sales.

The industry shipped about 14,000 motorhomes last year, its worst showing in the 38 years data has been collected.

While the numbers are expected to improve this year — thanks to dealer restocking more than end sales to customers — they are not expected to be anywhere near the 28,300 motorhomes the industry shipped in 2008. And some analysts say the industry may never again sell the record 71,800 vehicles it shipped in 2004.

Winnebago, the largest U.S. maker of motorhomes, reported a net profit of $4.9 million, or 17 cents a share, for the fourth quarter ended Aug. 28, compared with a year-earlier loss of $50.2 million, or $1.73 a share.

Revenue at the company, which makes motorhomes under the Winnebago and Itasca brand names, doubled to $123.1 million.

Analysts on average expected Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago to report a profit of 5 cents a share, excluding special items, on sales of $103.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Wall Street had forecast net income of 2 cents a share.

The company said the results were lifted by increased motorhome deliveries, "particularly in the Class A category." Class A motorhomes are big, bus-like RVs that can sell for as much as $300,000.

Demand for Class As had dropped dramatically in recent years as fuel prices rose, credit tightened dramatically and the U.S. real estate downturn snowballed into a full-blown recession.

Winnebago said its sales order backlog fell 13 percent to 818 vehicles during the fourth quarter.

The company's shares were up 8.7 percent at $12.14 in premarket trading.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Motorhome maker Winnebago Industries Inc posted higher-than-expected quarterly earnings on Thursday as its independent dealer network stocked up on its largest and most profitable vehicles. The results, the latest in a string of Street-beating numbers from Winnebago,...
Winnebagos Profit Tops View as Sales Double
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2010-46-14
Thursday, 14 Oct 2010 01:46 PM
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