Recreational vehicle manufacturer Thor Industries Inc. has enjoyed a string of successful quarters — most recently in the first quarter of fiscal 2018, ended Oct. 31, results of which the company reported in late November of last year. Thor posted eye-opening metrics, including record revenue that increased 30.6% to $2.23 billion against the prior year and record net income of $128.4 million, representing an increase of 63.1%.

Motley Fool reported that these types of numbers undergirded a stock rally in 2017 during which Thor shares soared more than 52% on a total-return basis. In this article, we’ll review factors behind Thor Industries’ recent outperformance, and discuss whether the company can continue its upward trajectory in 2018.

One thing Thor Industries doesn’t have to fret over is the market for its products. Consumers spend $887 billion on outdoor recreation annually, according to the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA). Within this massive industry, which employs 7.6 million people, the subset known as the RV industry is flourishing. A recent investor presentation by Thor notes that annual industry RV shipments have increased at a compounded annual growth rate, or CAGR, of 10% since 2010.

RV industry expansion is being driven by increased consumer confidence due to steady, if slow, economic growth and moderate wage growth. More pertinently, demographic trends have translated into new opportunities for this once-stagnant industry.

The typical RV buyer of today is more ethnically diverse and younger than just a few years ago. Thor points out that Latinos, Asians, African Americans, and other ethnicities comprised 39% of new campers in 2016 and that Gen Xers and millennials comprised 72% of campers in 2016. These trends together have created a new wave of potential RV buyers. 

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