> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

Thor Industries Inc. today (Nov. 27) reported a mixed first quarter for Fiscal 2007 ending Oct. 31, as sales topped analysts’ expectations, but profits fell short.
Revenue slipped 4% to $727.7 million, but rose 6% if $75 million in hurricane-relief revenue from the first quarter of Fiscal 2006 is excluded, according to the firm.
Still, Thor’s sales exceeded analysts’ consensus forecast of $704 million, due largely to brisk retail demand as Thor increased its promotional activity to help dealers deplete their inventory.
Earnings, however, fell 23% to $32.7 million or 58 cents per share.
By segment, towable sales totaled $499.9 million, motorized posted $135.9 million and buses saw $91.8 million. The 6.2% decrease in towables net sales resulted primarily from last year’s hurricane-related retail activity.
“We estimate that in fiscal 2006, approximately $75 million or 14.1% of towable net sales, (approximately 5,400 units), were related to hurricane relief units sold through our dealer network,” the firm reported. “There have been no sales of hurricane relief units in fiscal 2007.”
On the motorized side, the 8.8% decrease in motorized net sales are largely the result of a 8.1% decrease in unit shipments. Decreases in the average price per unit resulted from the product mix.
The Jackson Center, Ohio-based company reported that RV backlogs totaled $188 million, down by 34% from a year ago, reflecting dealers’ reluctance to add inventory of ’07 models. The towable backlog fell particularly hard, down 41% excluding hurricane-related orders.
The company reported $4 million in capital expenditures for the first quarter, primarily for planned expansions and improvements in its RV segments. Thor anticipates additional capital expenditures in fiscal 2007 of approximately $16 million, also primarily in the RV segment.
In the first quarter, Thor purchased 40,400 shares of its own stock and held them as treasury stock at a cost of $1,630, 000, an average cost of $40.33 per share.