Tuesday, November 28, 2006
EVEN THOR IS FEELING THE SLOW ECONOMY NOW
Monday, November 27, 2006
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.
WILL THIS SAVE NATIONAL RV?
Monday, November 27, 2006
National R.V. Holdings Inc.’s management hopes to generate some momentum for its products at this week’s 44th Annual National RV Trade Show in light of its announcement late Wednesday (Nov. 22) that it will sell and then lease back its 50-acre Perris, Calif., property to Warrior Holdings Inc., which markets Weekend Warrior-branded recreational vehicles.
The transaction infuses $33.5 million of capital into beleaguered National RV, which is located in the same Southern California city, enabling it to substantially reduce the outstanding balance on its working capital line of credit. The deal, scheduled to close Dec. 21, calls for National RV to lease the Perris facility for 10 years with two five-year renewal options.
“This transaction will bring a substantial amount of capital into the company at a critical time,” stated Brad Albrechtsen, National’s CEO, in a news release. “We are pleased that our business partners will now be able to come to the Louisville Show seeing that the company has taken this significant step towards solving its liquidity challenges.”
The company builds Class A motorhomes through two wholly owned subsidiaries, National R.V. Inc., which targets the mainstream market, and Country Coach Inc. in Junction City, Ore., a more upscale builder. Albrechtsen said new products at its Country Coach subsidiary, including the million-dollar-plus Rhapsody and newly launched Tribute and Inspire, were helping that division gain market share. He also said National RV has been experiencing some success with its mid-priced, diesel-powered Pacifica and entry-level gas Surf Side.
National R.V. Holdings Inc. has struggled over the past six years, in part because the company is having to rebuild 72 motor homes due to defective fiberglass panels. “This had a tremendous impact on our cash flow,” Albrechtsen noted.
Adding to the company’s situation was the August resignation of Bob Lee, a longtime board member and investor, who said he had lost confidence in the company’s ability to survive.
On Nov. 10, the company reported a $7.1 million loss for the third quarter as sales fell by 15%, bringing the year’s loss to $16.3 million. Albrechtsen, saying he expected the loss to narrow in the fourth quarter, indicated at the time that the company had “offers in hand on recapitalization” of the company and said he hoped to make an announcement yet this quarter. The publicly held company’s stock has been trading near its 52-week low of $2.94 per share.
Meanwhile, the deal gives Warrior Holdings Inc., a pioneer toy hauler builder with annual sales of around $275 million, much needed manufacturing space. The privately held company, which recently bought an 80,000-square-foot former military building south of Riverside, Calif., unveiled its first motorized RV this fall. “We need room, baby,” Gary Denton, vice president of sales and marketing for Weekend Warrior, told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. “We are in awe of our own growth.”
Denton said Warrior founder Mark Warmoth believes it is a good time to invest in commercial real estate and could choose to build more factory space on the land in the future.
Weekend Warrior already had close ties to National RV, having purchased National’s travel-trailer lineup. Warrior still leases 80,000 square feet of space in National RV’s plant, the Press-Enterprise reported.
WESTERN RV BOUGHT BY BOB LEE AND INVESTMENT FIRM
An investment firm working with Country Coach Inc. founder Bob Lee has agreed to acquire and recapitalize Western Recreational Vehicles Inc. (WRV), a maker of high-end motorhomes and trailers based in Washington.
Lee, who is investing in the acquisition by Monomoy Capital Partners L.P., New York, will become chairman of the board of directors, according to a Monomoy release. Western RV will continue to operate from its 400,000-square foot manufacturing and service facilities in Yakima, where the firm employs approximately 250 workers.
Ron Doyle will continue to serve as president of WRV, and the OEM's operating management will remain with the new firm, the release stated.
“The Monomoy acquisition is a very positive step for the WRV organization, its business partners and customers,” Doyle said. “Monomoy will provide substantial capital and management expertise for Western RV and help us successfully launch our 2007 product line.”
“Western RV is a quality company and I look forward to working alongside my longtime friend and colleauge Ron Doyle to realize the company's full potential as a highline manufacturer,” said Lee, a 40-year industry veteran.
FLEETWOOD / CLASS C 2006-2007
Manufacturer : FLEETWOOD ENTERPRISES, INC.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 06V437000 Mfg's Report Date : OCT 24, 2006
Potential Number Of Units Affected :
CERTAIN MOTOR HOMES FAIL TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF PART 567, "CERTIFICATION." THE FEDERAL CERTIFICATION TAG FIGURES RELATED TO THE REAR TIRE PRESSURE TAG OF 60 PSI ARE INCORRECT. THE CORRECT REAR TIRE PRESSURE RATING IS 80 PSI.
A MISPRINTED LABEL COULD LEAD TO IMPROPER VEHICLE LOADING OR TIRE INFLATION WHICH COULD RESULT IN TIRE FAILURE, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
FLEETWOOD WILL MAIL THE CORRECT FEDERAL CERTIFICATION TAG ALONG WITH INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS. FLEETWOOD IS ALSO ASKING OWNERS TO CHECK AND, IF NECESSARY, INFLATE THE REAR TIRES TO THE CORRECT 80 PSI. IF OWNERS ARE NOT COMFORTABLE INSTALLING THE LABEL THEMSELVES OR CHECKING THE TIRE PRESSURE, OWNERS CAN TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO THEIR DEALER. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING NOVEMBER 2006. OWNERS MAY CONTACT FLEETWOOD AT 800-505-3418.
FLEETWOOD RECALL NO. 61020. CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION’S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
ACURA / RDX 2007
HONDA / TRAILER HITCH KIT 9999
Manufacturer : HONDA (AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR CO.)
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 06E096000 Mfg's Report Date : NOV 16, 2006
Component: TRAILER HITCHES
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 623
CERTAIN HONDA ACCESSORY TRAILER HITCHES, P/N 08L92-STK-200, MANUFACTURED BETWEEN JUNE 26 AND JULY 8, 2006, AND SOLD AS AFTERMARKET EQUIPMENT FOR USE ON 2007 MODEL YEAR ACURA RDX VEHICLES. THE HITCHES MAY HAVE BEEN IMPROPERLY WELDED DURING INSTALLATION.
THE HITCH MAY SEPARATE FROM THE VEHICLE WHILE IN USE WHICH COULD RESULT IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
HONDA WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND INSPECT AND, IF NECESSARY, REPLACE THE HITCH. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON DECEMBER 1, 2006. OWNERS MAY CONTACT ACURA CLIENT SERVICES AT 800-382-2238.
HONDA RECALL NO. Q29. CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.