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SSI: Motorhome Sales Surge in May, Gain 28%

July 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Year-over-year motorhome registrations jumped 28% in May while sales for the five months increased 29%, according to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI).

Thor Industries Inc. held the No. 1 spot in year-to-date motorhome registrations with a 25.5% market share followed by Winnebago Industries Inc. (18%), Forest River Inc. (12.5%) and Forest River’s Coachmen RV division (12.1%).

In the Class A category, May sales climbed 28.8% compared with 2012 and were up 27.6% for the five months. Thor led the sector through May, posting a 21.9% market share, edging Winnebago (20.5%). Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. was No. 3, capturing a 20.7% share.

Class C sales gained 27.2% for the month and 30.6% year-to-date. Thor led the category for the five months with a 29.5% market share, followed by Coachmen RV (19.2%), Forest River (17.5%) and Winnebago (15.2%).

Rental registrations, primarily Class C sales, declined 18% in May.

To subscribe to this or other SSI reports, contact Scott Stropkai, national RV sales manager, at (616) 281-9898 ext 128, or (616) 446-8179 (cell).

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Motorhomes Power Winnebago to Stellar Sales

June 27, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

In a conference call today (June 27) with media and investors, Winnebago Industries Inc. expounded on a stellar fiscal third quarter that included a 94% increase in year-over-year earnings, a 40% rise in sales and the highest shipment total in five years.

The Forest City, Iowa-based company enjoyed higher profits due to a heightened demand for motorhomes coupled with lower discounting and an improved product mix. Winnebago Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts noted that the company’s motorhome backlog had grown in each of the last six consecutive quarters.

“At the end of the third quarter, backlog had grown in every motorized category and was up 130% year-over-year,” Potts said. “This is a reflection of our dealer networks’ confidence in our motorhome products, as well as our confidence in the overall industry as they prepare for the summer season.”

Potts revealed that in line with demand Winnebago also continued to increase production levels.

“We’ve been increasing our production throughout the past 9 months,” he said. “When measured as units produced per production day, our production in the third quarter of fiscal ’13 increased nearly 48% compared to the units produced per production day in the same quarter last year.”

While the still evolving towable division incurred a $764,000 operating loss during the quarter, Potts said the unit was making progress.

“We had good response to new products that were introduced at our Dealer Days event in late April, as evidenced by the increase in sales order backlog compared to the second quarter of fiscal ’13,” he said.

To read the entire transcript from today’s conference call click here.

 

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Winnebago 3Q Profit Soars 94%; Sales up 40%

June 27, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Winnebago Industries Inc.’s fiscal third-quarter earnings soared 94.4%, boosted by improved margins and heightened demand for motorhomes.

“We worked extremely hard to deliver significant improvement in the third quarter as compared to the prior year,” said Winnebago Industries Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts.  “We again increased our shipment volume in nearly every sector of our business due to the continued rise in customer demand.”

Revenues for the third quarter, ended June 1, increased 40.1% to $218.2 million versus $155.7 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2012.  The Forest City, Iowa-based company. Net income for the period rose 94.4% to $7.7 million, or 27 cents per diluted share, from $3.9 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, a year ago. Winnebago reported operating income of $10.2 million for the quarter, an increase of 190.6%, versus $3.5 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2012.

Earnings in the third quarter were positively impacted by increased motorhome volumes, driven by higher dealer and retail consumer demand.  The increased volumes, along with lower incentives, provided fixed cost leverage, higher operating margins, net income and earnings per share as compared to the same quarter last year.  Net cash generated from operations was $19.2 million in the third quarter.

Revenues for the first 40 weeks of fiscal 2013 grew 40.5% to $588.9 million compared to $419.1 million for the first 39 weeks of fiscal 2012. Net income for the first nine months soared 425% to $21.3 million, or 76 cents per diluted share, versus $4.1 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, the year prior. Winnebago reported operating income of $29.1 million for the first nine months versus $3 million for the same period in fiscal 2012.

Potts noted, “We are very pleased with the marketplace response to our new 2014 motorhome and towable products, including the new Winnebago Forza and Itasca Solei. These products provide our dealers and retail customers with a new price point targeted at the largest growth component of the Class A diesel category. We are focused on bringing these exciting new products and others to market.

“Since the initial introduction to our dealer partners in late April at our Dealer Days event, we have moved forward with our planned staggered retail product rollouts which will continue throughout the coming months. We have had exceptional growth throughout fiscal 2013, experiencing the best shipment quarter in over five years, while still increasing our sales order backlog.”

 

 

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SSI: Motorhome Sales See 30% Growth in April

June 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Year-over-year motorhome registrations jumped 29.8% in April while sales for the four months increased 27.3%, according to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI).

Thor Industries Inc. held the No. 1 spot in year-to-date motorhome registrations with a 26% market share followed by Winnebago Industries Inc. (18.4%). Forest River Inc.’s and its Coachmen RV division tied for the No. 3 position with a 12% share.

In the Class A category, April sales climbed 30.7% compared with 2012 and were up 25.2% for the four months. Thor led the sector through April, posting a 21.8% market share, edging Winnebago who captured a 21.1% share. Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. was No. 3 with a 17.8% share.

Class C sales gained 28.8% for the month and 29.7% year-to-date. Thor led the category for the four months with a 30.6% market share, followed by Coachmen RV (19.1%), Forest River (17.2%) and Winnebago (15.5%).

April rental registrations, primarily Class C sales, were up 9% in April.

To subscribe to this or other SSI reports, contact Scott Stropkai, national RV sales manager, at (616) 281-9898 ext 128, or (616) 446-8179 (cell).

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Baird: Rentals Boost March Motorhome Sales

May 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Editor’s Note: The investment firm of Robert W. Baird & Co. issued a client newsletter after this week’s release by Statistical Surveys Inc. of the summary of retail sales of motorhomes in the month of March. Excerpts from the Baird newsletter follow.

U.S. Motorhome retail +25%. According to data from Statistical Surveys, motorhome (Class A & C) retail increased 25% in March. Class A sales improved 11% while Class C retail jumped 43%. We believe timing of rental units may be creating monthly volatility. Thor motorhome retail grew 31% through two months of the company’s fiscal Q3 (+69% in March, +1.5% in February). Thor reported Q3 preliminary sales May 2. Winnebago motorhome retail improved 1% in its first month of fiscal Q3.

Motorhome retail registrations in the U.S. increased 25% in March. Class A registrations improved 11% while Class C reported registrations rebounded to +43% growth in March after declining 1% in February. We note that the timing of rental fleet sales may be skewing March Class C data higher (after skewing it lower in February). Year-to-date Class C retail improved 27% while Class A demand improved 21%. Industry comparisons become easier in April and May before picking up in the summer.

Solid QTD results for Thor. Thor motorhome retail increased 69% in March after a stagnant February (+1.5%) – we believe the timing of rental fleet units may have contributed to the monthly volatility. Through the first two months of Thor’s fiscal Q3, the company’s U.S. motorhome demand improved 31% – a result that may dampen fears of an excessive inventory build after the weak February retail report and Thor’s solid preliminary sales report. We model Thor North American retail growth of 20% in fiscal Q3.

Winnebago. Winnebago U.S. motorhome retail increased just 1% in March. We model Winnebago North American retail growth at 20% for the May quarter. We remain comfortable with our forecast, noting the early stage of the quarter, frequent upward data revisions, and expectation for additional retail reports prior to Winnebago’s quarterly report.

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SSI: March Motorhome Sales Post 25.5% Rise

May 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Year-over-year motorhome registrations jumped 25.5% in March while sales for the first quarter increased 23.5%, according to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI).

Thor Industries Inc. held the No. 1 spot in year-to-date motorhome registrations with a 25.9% market share followed by Winnebago Industries Inc. (17.4%), Forest River Inc.’s Coachmen RV division (13%) and Forest River (11.5%).

In the Class A category, March sales climbed 10.8% compared with 2012 and were up 20.6% for the three months. Thor led the sector through March, posting a 21.4% market share, while Winnebago held a 21% share and Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. was No. 3 with an 18.6% share.

Class C sales soared 43.4% for the month and 27.1% year-to-date. Thor led the category for the three months with a 31.2% market share, followed by Coachmen RV (21.6%), Forest River (16.8%) and Winnebago (13.1%).

March rental registrations, primarily Class C sales, were up 96% in March.

To subscribe to this or other SSI reports, contact Scott Stropkai, national RV sales manager, at (616) 281-9898 ext 128, or (616) 446-8179 (cell).

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SSI: A’s Drive Feb. Coach Sales to 8% Growth

April 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Year-over-year motorhome registrations rose 7.9% in February while sales for the two months increased 15.6%, according to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI).

Thor Industries Inc. held the No. 1 spot in year-to-date motorhome registrations with a 26.7% market share followed by Winnebago Industries Inc. (19.2%), Forest River Inc. (11.9%) and Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. (10.8%).

In the Class A category, November sales climbed 16.6% compared with 2012 and were up 22% for the two months. Winnebago led the category through February, posting a 22.6% market share, while Thor held a 21% share and Tiffin was No. 3 with an 18.4% share.

Class C sales edged down 0.8% for the month but grew 7.6% year-to-date. Thor led the category for the two months with a 34.7% market share, followed by Forest River (19.7%), Winnebago (14.4%) and Forest River’s Coachmen RV division (13.7%).

February rental registrations, primarily Class C sales, fell 23% in February.

To subscribe to this or other SSI reports, contact Scott Stropkai, national RV sales manager, at (616) 281-9898 ext 128, or (616) 446-8179 (cell).

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Winnebago 2Q Reflects Seniors are Confident

March 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Winnebago Industries Inc. reported surprisingly strong profit on Thursday (March 28), suggesting the growing confidence among U.S. consumers is shared by the 50 and older crowd, the prime demographic for the No. 1 U.S. maker of motorhomes.

Reuters reported that the company said renewed momentum in the broader economy – from surging stock prices to signs of recovery in the housing market – helped push its order backlog to pre-recession levels and its profit past market expectations for the third quarter in a row.

The company’s top executive said demand is still below the levels seen before the housing bubble burst – a collapse that sent recreational vehicle demand plummeting and half dozen of Winnebago’s rivals, including Fleetwood Enterprises and Monaco Coach, into bankruptcy.

Winnebago, known for its large touring vehicles that provide home-like comfort on the road, said its order backlog had nearly tripled from a year earlier to 2,752 units as of March 2, the fifth quarterly rise in a row.

The Forest City, Iowa-based company’s order backlog for motor homes is now at its highest level since the fourth quarter of 2004, said Kathryn Thompson, chief executive of equity research firm Thompson Research Group.

Winnebago said the buyers returning to RV showrooms are showing an appetite for products across its line, which range in price from about from $65,000 to more than $300,000. Most of Winnebago’s customers are either retired or semi-retired, the company said.

According to Reuters, the apparent rebound in the U.S. housing market may be the most important factor of all. Motorhome sales are sensitive to a lot of factors, but tend to be most strongly influenced by the housing market and energy prices.

Winnebago says its sales closely track the ups and downs of the market for new homes. Earlier this month, the Commerce Department reported that permits for future construction jumped 4.6% in February, the fastest pace since June 2008.

Randy Potts, the company’s chairman, president and CEO, cautioned that while retail trends are positive, consumer demand is still “not even close” to where it has been historically – before industry sales peaked in 2004 and began their long slide in 2005.

“What we’ve gone through in recent years wasn’t a cycle, it was a catastrophe,” Potts said in an interview with Reuters.

But pent-up demand from consumers who postponed purchases waiting for the economy to recover may change that.

Potts said that in the 25 years before 2004 and 2005, the RV industry would ship an average of 60,000 motorhomes annually. In 2013, even with the current rebound in demand, the industry expects to ship about 32,000 units.

“That’s still just 50 percent of what we want to say is a normal market,” Potts said.

“So if you believe that the RV lifestyle is alive and well and that normal hasn’t changed … there should be a real pent-up demand out there.”

Winnebago’s stock, which has risen about 30% since the start of the year, closed down 5.6% at $20.64 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. The stock hit a five-year high of $22.34 on March 14.

There has been some concern that the RV market might be hurt by cuts in federal spending as well as rising fuel prices.

But data released late last month showed that consumer confidence is rebounding.

Winnebago reported a profit of $6.3 million, or 22 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 2, compared with a loss of $9.1 million, or 3 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 35% to $177.2 million.

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Winnebago 2Q Sales Up 35% as Demand Rises

March 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Benefiting from heightened motorhome demand driven by an improving economic environment, Winnebago Industries Inc. swung to a profit in its fiscal second quarter on a 34.6% gain in revenue.

Sales for the second quarter, ended March 2, totaled $177.2 million versus $131.6 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2012. The Forest City, Iowa-based builder reported net income of $6.3 million, or 22 cents per diluted share, versus a loss of $912,000, or 3 cents per diluted share, the previous year. Second-quarter operating income was $8.9 million compared to an operating loss of $1.2 million a year ago.

The company said earnings in the second quarter were positively impacted by increased motorized demand driving higher sales volume. The added sales volume, combined with firmer net pricing, increased manufacturing productivity and fixed cost leverage, resulted in higher operating margins, net income and earnings per share.

Revenue for the first 27 weeks of fiscal 2013 were $370.7 million, an increase of 40.7%, versus revenues of $263.4 million for the first 26 weeks of fiscal 2012. Net income for the first half of fiscal 2013 was $13.7 million, or 48 cents per diluted share, versus $123,000, or 0 cents per diluted, share for the first half of fiscal 2012. Operating income during the period was $18.8 million versus operating loss of $537,000 the previous year.

“We had very positive comparisons this year versus the first half of fiscal 2012,” said Winnebago Industries Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts. “Our motorhome sales growth continues to out-pace the industry. As evidenced by the heightened level of our sales order backlog, we continue to see great response to our products from our dealer partners as well as from retail consumers.”

Potts continued, “We believe the motorized RV market will continue to grow toward pre-recession levels. Improved economic indicators such as rising housing starts, lower unemployment and attractive interest rates should create a positive environment going forward.”

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Winnebago Motorhome Backlog Nearly Triples

March 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The strength and profitability of Winnebago’s motorhome business during its fiscal second quarter – punctuated by a backlog that nearly tripled from a year ago – outweighed “sustained underperformance” in the company’s still evolving towable division.

In a conference call today (March 28) delivered in the wake of a report that showed a 34.6% sales increase and a swing to a $6.3 million profit, the Forest City, Iowa-based firm touted the results from its motorhome operations that yielded a “positive comparison in nearly every aspect of the business,” according to Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts.

“Our motorhome products are in high demand and continue to outpace the industry, which has resulted in an increase in motorhome backlog over the last five quarters,” Potts said, noting that the year-to-date backlog stood at 2,752 units.

Accordingly, production lines “are completely filled and running,” reported Vice President and CFO Sarah Nielsen, a situation that has also spurred a spike in hiring. “With the pace that we’re running, we are behind where we want to be on head count,” she said, “but we are still looking to expand our run rates and work force.”

Nielsen also pointed to higher gross margins during the quarter compared to a year ago, primarily achieved through a reduction in discounting of product.

Potts stressed, however, that the lack of Class A gas chassis from Ford Motor Co., the industry’s key supplier, continued to pose a challenge. “It represents a constraint on the entire industry, and it appears to be a constraint for the foreseeable future based on demand and what Ford says it can supply,” he said.

Looking forward, Potts offered a progressive outlook for motorhome demand, stating, “We believe the motorized RV market will continue to grow toward pre-recession levels. Improved economic indicators such as rising housing starts, lower unemployment and attractive interest rates should create a positive environment going forward.”

On the towable side, Winnebago continues to operate in the red, incurring an operating loss of $850,000 in the second quarter, according to Nielsen. Winnebago launched its towable group with the acquisition of Middlebury, Ind.-based SunnyBrook Manufacturing Inc. in December of 2010.

“This is not acceptable,” Nielsen said, pointing to the adverse effects of increased warranty expense coupled with one-time employee separations. “We are addressing these issues, including several management changes and the closing of one of two assembly plants. We have also centralized warranty and service operations to Iowa.”

Demonstrating the gap in divisions, motorhome deliveries for the quarter rose 42% to 1,419 units while towables edged up just 2.5% to 548 units.

The most high-profile personnel change was the recent promotion of industry veteran Johnny Hernandez as president of Winnebago Towables, replacing Elvie Frey, former president of SunnyBrook. “With these improvements, our goal is to achieve break-even results in the fiscal fourth quarter,” Nielsen said.

Potts added that the towable market still represents a “tremendous opportunity” for Winnebago. “Many parts of our strategy have worked well, but there are parts that didn’t work out,” he said. “We have a number of details that need to be shored up.”

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