Baird logoEditor’s Note: Robert W. Baird & Co. issued this investor alert following this week’s release of the year-end wholesale shipments report by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

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December shipments increase 150%. Total shipments increased significantly again in December, on a 149% increase in towable shipments and a 150% increase in motorhomes. These large increases were expected, as the seasonally less significant year-end period was especially weak last year. We expect strong shipment results to continue as comps remain easy throughout winter and the dealers begin to restock inventory at more normal rates.

Summary

Total RV wholesale shipments up 150%. Shipments grew again in December as the destocking trend has run its course and we annualize the weakest months of last year.

Motorhome shipments increased 150%. Class A shipments grew 125% while Class C shipments tripled. These gains come off of historically low shipment levels, and were expected. For perspective, motorhome shipments in December remain down 62% from their 2007 level.

Towable shipments grew 149%. Travel trailer shipments increased 163% while fifth-wheel shipments increased 120%. Towable shipments continue to improve, increasing significantly favorable comparisons.

Dealer inventory. Shipments have come into line with retail in both motorhomes and towables. We continue to expect more normal restocking rates to drive strong shipment results.

SAAR. We calculate a seasonally adjusted annual rate of shipments. The SAAR of motorhome shipments increased to 21.4K units in December, up from 18.3K units in November. The SAAR of towable shipments increased to 187.5K units in December from 183.5K units in November. Both trended significantly higher throughout 2009.