Severe Weather Hurting RV Industry

Thor Industries Inc. (THO) issued a preliminary sales target for the fiscal second quarter that missed Wall Street’s projections, as the recreational-vehicle maker said poor winter weather hurt sales and production.  The severe weather conditions in many parts of the U.S. ahead of the holiday season and in early 2014 have led many consumer-focused companies to issue disappointing outlooks. Auto sales in January were also broadly affected by the weather, with a number of companies saying traffic was hurt as freezing temperatures and snowstorms dissuaded consumers from shopping.

Thor, which manufacturers brands including Four Winds and Dutchman, expects preliminary consolidated sales from continuing operations of $636.3 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters projected total sales of $718 million for the quarter ended Jan. 31.  Thor expects sales of the larger towable RV business to drop 9.3%, partly offset by a nearly 44% jump in sales for the smaller motorized RV business.  Chief Executive and President Bob Martin said severe winter weather that plagued the Midwest hurt sales. Mr. Martin said the company’s Indiana operations also lost several days of production due to severe cold and heavy snow.  Ultimately, Mr. Martin said those factors will push back deliveries and sales from the second quarter to later in the fiscal year.  “The RV markets remain strong as reflected by the higher traffic and increased sales activity we’ve seen in the early retail shows,” Mr. Martin said.

So let’s hope for warmer weather sooner than later.

Safe travels and happy RVing!

(article source: The Wall Street Journal)
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