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Thor Industries Q2 Preliminary Sales Up 24%, Tops View, Shares Up 4%

Recreational vehicle maker Thor Industries, Inc. (THO) announced Monday preliminary consolidated sales for the second quarter that increased 24.2 percent from a year ago and topped analysts' expectations. Sales for the half-yearly period also grew from last year. Following the news, the company's rose nearly four percent in extended trading.

Thor makes various recreational vehicles and small buses, including Airstream and Heartland brand recreational vehicles, and Champion buses. It is the sole owner of operating subsidiaries that, combined, represent the world's largest manufacturer of recreational vehicles and is a major builder of commercial buses and ambulances.

"Thor achieved solid gains in revenue for the second quarter ending January 31, 2013 as the momentum of our RV products introduced in the fall continued at Louisville in late November. Indications from the early RV retail shows have been very positive, with increased traffic and higher sales levels, reflecting continued strength in our industry," Chairman and CEO Peter Orthwein said in a statement.

Thor's preliminary consolidated sales for the second quarter grew 24.2 percent to $741.4 million from $597.0 million in the same quarter last year. On average, three analysts expected revenues of $715.73 million for the second quarter.

The Jackson Center, Ohio-based company said revenues from recreational vehicles or RV, which generates majority of the revenue, grew 27.0 percent to $636.1 million, with towable RV sales rising 17.6 percent and motorized RV sales more than doubling from last year.

Meanwhile, bus sales increased 9.7 percent to $105.3 million from $96.0 million in the prior-year quarter.

"Despite the improvements in RV sales, the overall environment in the towables market remains very competitive, and elevated levels of incentives associated with orders placed at the fall Open House are reflected in our sales and our second-quarter operating results that we expect to report on March 7. In addition, the bus business continued to be characterized by aggressive competition during the second quarter," Orthwein added.

Thor's consolidated backlog at the end of the second quarter stood at $822.0 million, up 27.1 percent from $646.9 million at the end of the year-ago quarter. RV backlog was surged 49.4 percent to $616.6 million, with towable RV backlog rising 25.2 percent and motorized RV backlog more than doubling from last year.

However, bus backlog declined 12.2 percent to $205.4 million from $234.1 million at the end of the prior-year quarter.

THO closed Monday's regular trading session at $39.80, down $2.55 or 6.02% on a volume of 1.82 million shares. However, the stock gained $1.49 or 3.74% in after-hours trading.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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