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AOL Time Warner Inc.’s Fortune Magazine recently recommended that investors consider buying Thor Industries Inc. stock largely because its price has slipped in recent weeks from around $40 to around $28 a share.
As the magazine reported:
“This might be the RV’s 15 minutes. From the Osbournes’ family motorhome to Jack Nicholson’s recreational ride in “About Schmidt”, the traditional vehicle of the American retiree is popping up across the pop culture terrain. And there’s no bigger star in the RV business right now than Thor Industries.
“Shares of the fast-growing company (now making almost 30% of all travel trailers and fifth-wheels largely because of acquisitions) shot up 86% in 2002. Thor’s joy ride isn’t over. Earnings for the vehicle maker are on pace to grow 48% this year, thanks in part to predictable demographics.
“Baby Boomers are the target customers for RVs, says Red Chip research analyst Ruthanne Williams, and that age group just keeps swelling.
“Plus, record-low interest rates have made the vehicles more affordable to potential buyers. Thor plans to make room for more growth with the addition of five new production plants in 2003.
“The best news for investors is that despite last year’s run-up, Thor trades at just 10 times projected 2003 earnings – well below its historical average P/E of 16. That means it’s not too late to climb onboard.”
Earlier this week, Thor, best-known for its Dutchmen, Keystone and Airstream brands of towables, reported its RV order backlog amounted to $181 million as of Jan. 31, a 41% increase over a year earlier. The company also reported its RV sales revenue climbed 37% higher from November through January to $275.7 million.
Thor and all other RV manufacturers have seen their stock prices slide lower in recent weeks because investors are worried about the impact of a war and a possible double-dip recession on RV company profitability. 
However, the RV retail market showed itself to be rather resilient at consumer shows in January, according to many RV dealers.