Wall Street investment firms issued glowing reports following this week’s release by Thor Industries Inc. of its second-quarter financial results. Excerpts from their client newsletters follow:

Baird logoCraig Kennison of Robert W. Baird & Co. noted that “Thor’s sales grew 89% to $429 million – better than our $367 million estimate and $373 million consensus. RV sales increased 148% to $335 million, above our $268 million estimate. Bus sales increased 2% to $94 million versus our $99 million forecast.”

“Strong backlog and robust industry wholesale shipments reflect more normal order rates after dealer inventory bottomed this winter. Thor RV backlog increased 157% YOY to $449 million and represents 74% of our next-quarter revenue estimate. Notably, a Class C order by an RV rental company represents a large portion of the RV backlog.”

“As the RV cycle turns, Thor remains positioned well, with a healthy cost structure, exposure to the relatively stronger towable market, and an opportunity to gain share. The wholesale restocking trends appears to be in full swing, supporting better results. We raised our 2010 and 2011 EPS estimates to $2.00 and $2.50, respectively, to reflect improving fundamentals.”

TRG logoLikewise, Kathryn Thompson from Thompson Research Group concluded that Thor’s backlog numbers “exceeded even our relatively higher expectations. In our opinion, Thor’s strong Q2’10 preliminary earnings report were not necessarily an anomaly, and we think this signals a continuing trend.”

TRG upgraded its forecast for Thor and Drew Industries Inc. on Sept. 22 “based on strong Hershey retail feedback and confirmation that production schedules were set through November.”

Last month, TRG reported “a continuation and perhaps even an acceleration of strong retail trends at the Tampa RV Super Show.”

As a result, TRG reiterated its “buy” rating on Thor and expects additional earnings improvements in coming quarters.

Thor’s strong results also have positive implications for Winnebago Industries Inc. and Drew, TRG noted.