Dealer meetings. Winnebago Management is optimistic about new product introductions and related opportunities to gain share through improved distribution infrastructure – but expects growth to be driven by retail sell-through given that the industry is in the latter stages of the restocking effect. We remain convinced that a wealth effect is releasing pent-up demand for RVs, supporting our favorable fundamental outlook – biased toward later-cycle exposure (motorhomes).
New products. Winnebago introduced a number of new products, including the Brave and Tribute models, in an ode to the iconic “eyebrow” design. Management sees opportunity to leverage new products to gain floor space among existing dealers and to opportunistically add distribution points. We like the refined distribution model and see a meaningful opportunity to introduce new product while still keeping inventory fresh.
Rental strategy. Conversations with management indicate a willingness to pursue future rental business, though the viability of the strategy hinges on Winnebago’s success reselling the rental units. We are optimistic about the resale prospects, particularly since the rental units are considered used – and thus the company does not have an obligation to sell these units back to a Winnebago-branded dealer, widening the resale market. While the strategy is dilutive to gross margin, it is accretive to gross profit dollars – and we see the potential for rental to contribute more meaningfully to the business going forward.
Bus segment. Management provided more color on the decision to enter the transit bus market, seeing an opportunity to provide a differentiated product in an otherwise commoditized market. Management believes the business provides a compelling incremental margin opportunity since Winnebago already has the necessary infrastructure in place – with incremental margins comparable to those of the Class C product. Net, if executed correctly, the bus strategy can complement the core business and provide a counter-weight to the more cyclical RV business, but earning margins commensurate with differentiated products is the key, in our view.
Restocking cycle maturing. A robust inventory restocking cycle has fueled a significant portion of the RV industry recovery, though management believes this effect has largely played out. Net, we believe Winnebago will ship closer to parity with retail – so retail trends are critical.
Winnebago Industries Inc. has selected Rand McNally as its exclusive provider of mapping and routing services for its 2014 motorhomes.
According to a news release, Rand McNally’s award-winning RV GPS navigation will be featured as part of the new X1 family of “Infotainment” systems from XiteSolutions North America, available in Winnebago, Itasca and Winnebago Touring Coach motorhomes.
Winnebago Industries has chosen the new X1S 6-inch and X1DM 10.4-inch “Infotainment” systems. The company said that the 10.4-inch display is the largest integrated, in-dash OEM solution in the RV market today.
“Our Winnebago Industries motorhome owners expect the best from us. We’ve partnered with the navigation industry’s best - Rand McNally - to provide navigation and routing information specific to RV travel, providing RV-specific stops along the way and enhancing the trip experience,” said Russ Garfin, product manager for Winnebago.
Rand McNally’s RV software includes:
• Specialized routing and turn-by-turn spoken directions in the U.S. and Canada for 11 different classes of RV.
• Navigation based on legal and physical restrictions, such as height, width, weight limits and propane restrictions, and the ability to favor right- or left-hand turns depending on motorhome class.
• Warnings for speed limit changes, sharp curves, dirt roads, and other potential hazards.
• Millions of points of interest including those specialized for RVs: RV Campgrounds with detailed amenities, RV dealers and maintenance facilities, dump stations, rest stops, travel centers and pet-friendly locations.
• RV Checklists/Maintenance Logs/Trails.
• Rand McNally featured road trips, including Best of the Road, Regional Trips, Scenic Tours and Weekend Getaways.
• 2D/3D Maps with Junction View.
• Multistop route optimization.
• User-configurable warnings to assist in creating detours, choosing to permanently avoid road segments, and receiving warnings for upcoming hazards such as bridges and construction
“Being selected as the exclusive GPS provider by industry leaders such as Winnebago Industries and XiteSolutions North America recognizes the routing expertise and superior user experience that Rand McNally has developed,” said Rand McNally CEO Dave Muscatel.
Winnebago Industries, Forest City, Iowa, has selected the Winegard RoadTrip Mission and SWM TRAV’LER satellite antenna products as their choice across all production lines for their 2014 models, according to a press release. In addition to the factory installed satellites, all vehicles not equipped off the line will be pre-wired for both the TRAV’LER and Mission for easy dealer installations.
“The Winegard Mission and TRAV’LER are industry leaders and we are pleased that Winnebago Industries has selected our products to include on their coaches,” said Keith Larson, national sales manager of mobile products for Winegard. “Winnebago Industries is recognized as a strong, long-standing member of the recreational vehicle community and the ability to work with them as a partner is a bonus for our company.”
“We implemented the TRAV’LER last year on several models to give our customers a DirecTV HD option.” said Brad Stricker, Winnebago product development leader. “So it was a natural progression to include the Mission in-motion and stationary satellite antennas this year for a complete package choice for our Winnebago Industries coach owners. Winegard is well-known in the industry and we are looking forward to our partnership.”
Winegard Co. is a leader in the design and manufacture of TV reception products for the RV market. For more information about all Winegard satellite antenna products, visit the Winegard website.
Forest City Iowa-based Winnebago Industries Inc. will report its fiscal third-quarter financial results and host a conference call on June 14.
Winnebago plans to issue an advisory release before the market opens on June 14 notifying the public that a complete and full-text press release discussing the financial results for the company’s third quarter, ended May 26, will be available no earlier than 6 a.m. Central in the “Investor Relations” section of the company’s website at www.winnebagoind.com/investor.html.
Winnebago’s’ conference call may be accessed live via Winnebago’s website. The event will be also archived and available for replay for the next 90 days.
Winnebago Industries Inc. has earned its 16th consecutive Quality Circle Award from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA). The award is scheduled to be presented at a ceremony conducted at RVDA’s “Celebrate Excellence: All-Industry Gala” on Oct. 5, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
“Winnebago Industries is truly honored to receive the Quality Circle award from RVDA,” said Winnebago Industries’ CEO and President Randy Potts. “Our employees have worked extremely hard to build high quality products, while providing world-class programs and services to our dealer partners. We are particularly proud that Winnebago Industries is the only manufacturer to receive this prestigious award from RVDA every year since its inception in 1996 and that we received the award for all three of our motorhome brands.”
Winnebago Industries was recognized for scoring 80% or above in overall dealer satisfaction as measured in the Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) survey conducted by RVDA. Based on the dealer responses to the DSI survey, Winnebago Industries’ Winnebago, Itasca, and Era brands all qualified for a Quality Circle Award.
Dealers believe the DSI is a tool to help improve communication and the overall relationships with their manufacturers. The survey measures dealer attitudes in key policy, product, and procedure areas that dealers say are the most important elements in their business partnerships with manufacturers.
“Our dealer partners are our first-line customers, so it is vital that we understand all their needs,” said Potts. “The DSI is a valuable indicator of our dealers’ perspective on the quality of our products and services. We are honored by the confidence they have shown in Winnebago Industries and thank them for this great honor. We also thank our employees for their continued diligence to ensure that every Winnebago Industries motorhome, program and service provided is of the highest quality. Our dynamic motorhome lineup for 2012 has just been introduced to our dealers and we intend to continue to deliver the most innovative and highest quality products, services and support for both our dealer partners and retail customers.”
According to a news release, the award was presented during their 58th Annual Professional Development Conference and Expo held in Bettendorf, Iowa, April 28-29. The award was presented for outstanding achievement in accident prevention for the 2010 calendar year.
Winnebago was one of 154 businesses, industries and government agencies in Iowa and Illinois to receive an award for promoting active safety programs and reducing Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable injuries among their employees. To qualify for this award, applicants had to demonstrate an incident rate lower than the national average for their specific industry. The Winnebago Industries facility was one of only 47 IISC member facilities to achieve a zero incident rate in 2010.
“We are very proud of the employees at our Charles City Assembly Facility in earning this award from the Iowa-Illinois Safety Council,” said Winnebago President Randy Potts. “Our company and safety department have been recognized for ensuring a safe work environment for our employees, as well as providing the training necessary for continued employee safety. Employee safety continues to be foremost in our minds as we manufacture the highest quality and most recognized motor homes in the industry.”
Motorhome builder Winnebago Industries Inc. today (Oct. 14) reported continued improvement in financial results during the company’s fourth quarter and fiscal year 2010.
“Results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2010 were greatly improved in revenues and gross profit, and we were pleased to have profitability at the operating level for both the fourth quarter and the full year,” said Winnebago Industries’ Chairman, CEO and President Bob Olson. “Increased motor home delivery volume continues to be a driving force behind our improved results. However, we remain cautious until we see continued retail growth.”
Revenues for the fourth quarter ended Aug. 28 were $123.1 million, an increase of 107%, versus $59.5 million for the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2009.
The Forest City, Iowa-based firm reported an operating profit of $5 million for the quarter versus an operating loss of $9.2 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.
Fourth quarter net income was $4.9 million compared to a net loss of $50.2 million for the last stanza of fiscal 2009.
On a diluted per share basis, the company had net income of $0.17 for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 versus a net loss of $1.73 for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, which included a non-cash charge of $41.1 million related to the establishment of a full valuation allowance against the company’s deferred tax assets.
This year’s fourth quarter was positively impacted by increased motorhome deliveries, particularly in the Class A category, resulting in more fixed cost absorption and improved labor efficiencies, the company reported.
“There also was a positive benefit to cost of goods sold from the liquidation of last-in, first-out (LIFO) inventory values due to further reduction in inventory levels,” Winnebago’s release stated. “This had the effect of increasing gross profit by $750,000.”
While fiscal 2010 revenues were $449.5 million — an increase of 112.5% compared to revenues of $211.5 million for fiscal 2009 — Winnebago reported an operating income of $0.5 million for fiscal 2010 versus an operating loss of $59.5 million for Fiscal 2009.
Net income for 2010 was $10.2 million, or $0.35 per diluted share, versus a loss of $78.8 million, or $2.71 per diluted share for fiscal 2009. The $9.5 million of tax benefit recorded in fiscal 2010 primarily relates to $5.8 million of tax benefits associated with the carryback of fiscal 2009 net operating losses permitted by tax law changes and tax benefits associated with various tax planning initiatives and tax settlements.
“Dealer inventory increased 20.7% with 2,044 Class A, B and C motorhomes on our dealers’ lots as of August 28, 2010, compared to 1,694 on August 29, 2009,” said Olson. “Dealer inventory has remained at a consistent level since our second quarter of fiscal 2010 and we continue to believe that level of inventory is appropriate in today’s market environment. Dealers and their lending institutions continue to keep a close eye on the size and age of their inventories to ensure that the supply is current and is consistent with retail demand.”
Winnebago’s sales order backlog was 818 Class A, B and C motor homes as of Aug. 28, a decrease of 13% compared to the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.
“During the fourth quarter, we launched 2011 model year products and our dealers have expressed excitement about the new 2011 products — particularly the newly redesigned Winnebago Tour and Itasca Ellipse,” said Olson.
“As a testament to the strength of our new 2011 product offerings,” he added, “retail sales of Winnebago Industries’ products at the September 2010 Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show in Hershey, Pa., were 36% higher than the previous year, and particularly strong in Class A diesel sales. We are pleased with the results of this show, particularly since it is the largest retail show in the country and a key show early in the new model year.”