Monaco Coach Corp. warned Wall Street today (April 3) that its earnings for the first half of this year will be below market analysts’ forecasts.

The company believes it will earn 26 cents a share to 30 cents a share on sales of $205 million to $210 million for the quarter that ended Saturday (March 31).

Wall Street had forecasted Monaco would earn 47 cents a share during the January-through-March period, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

Monaco’s earnings during the April-through-June period should “closely mirror those of the first quarter of 2001,” said Marty Daley, vice president and CFO.

Wall Street had forecasted Monaco would earn 51 cents a share during the second quarter.

“Despite challenges within our market, we see several encouraging signs and we believe that we will see strengthening in the second half of the year,” said John Nepute, the Monaco president. “We continue to gain market share. Our January 2001 Class A (motorhome) market share rose to 17.6%, up from 13.4% in January 2000. Additionally, recent interest rate reductions should have a positive impact on retail dealers’ willingness to finance inventory, which should encourage restocking of our products that continue to retail well.”