Editor’s Note: Following the release of the boating retail report from Statistical Surveys Inc., the investment firm of Robert W. Baird & Co. distributed a routine advisory note to its investors. Highlights of that note follow.
October powerboat retail bounces. U.S. powerboat retail jumped 22% in October, according to Statistical Surveys. October typically represents 4% of annual sales. Stronger growth continues in lower-priced areas of the market, with aluminum powerboats and fiberglass outboard (both +25%) drive the increase. Through October, retailers are on pace to sell 156,000 powerboats in 2012 (+12%).
• U.S. powerboat retail up 22% in October. U.S. powerboat retail jumped 22% in October — the most robust growth in over six months. The month of October falls in the offseason for boat sales, and accounts for 4% of the annual market. U.S. powerboat retail remains up 12% YTD in 2012.
• Smaller fares better. Smaller boats continue to perform better than larger boats, consistent with our expectations. Notably, sales of 14-30 foot fiberglass sterndrive units grew 18% following several months of declines. We believe consumers have more equity (or less negative equity) in smaller boats, driving better trade-in activity.
• Sandy destruction. Early assessments indicate as many as 65,000 boats were damaged in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, one of the most destructive storms on record.
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