Winnebago Industries Inc., the biggest motorhome manufacturer, is scheduled to report fiscal third-quarter results on Thursday (June 18). The following is a summary of key developments related to the period, according to an analysis by the Associated Press.
OVERVIEW: The recreation vehicle industry has taken a pounding over the last year, with the economic downturn sending several of Winnebago’s competitors into bankruptcy protection. RV sales are closely tied to consumer confidence, and worries about unemployment and falling home values have led to a pullback in showroom traffic.
First-quarter RV shipments fell 63% in the first quarter of 2009, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). The group blamed frozen credit markets, falling consumer confidence and the economy recession.
Winnebago has been making cuts to cope. Last week, Winnebago said it will close a fiberglass factory in Hampton, Iowa, because of lower motor home demand. The closure will result in the loss of 40 salaried and hourly jobs. The announcement come just months after Winnebago announced pay cuts across its salaried work force.
BY THE NUMBERS: Wall Street analysts expect the company to post a third-quarter loss of 27 cents per share, on average, according to Thomson Reuters.
WHAT’S AHEAD: Winnebago and the broader industry are banking on pent-up demand to spur a sales rebound once the economy recovers – and shares over the last quarter may be reflecting that hope. It is also hoping that more fuel-efficient and hybrid RVs will become a draw for buyers even if gas prices continue to increase. On Monday, the company launched a tour of its concept hybrid RV based on its Winnebago Adventurer motor coach.
According to the RVIA, demographic trends are in the industry’s favor.
“RV sales will benefit as aging Baby Boomers continue to enter the age range in which RV ownership is highest,” the group said in a recent report.
STOCK PERFORMANCE: Shares of Winnebago rose 89% during the fiscal third quarter. The stock is up 22% since the beginning of the year.