Pent-up demand will sustain Covid’s rise in RV sales

Winnebago CEO Michael Happe told CNBC on Friday that he expects the pandemic rise with pandemic stimulus in recreational vehicle sales to continue into next year.

The comments came after Iowa-based company Forest City reported strong quarterly results that exceeded Wall Street expectations. Investors cheered the fourth on Friday, with shares of Winnebago closing higher by more than 5%.

Winnebago reported adjusted earnings per share of $ 1.69, outperforming estimates of $ 1.01, according to FactSet. It also represented a 131.5% increase from the same quarter a year ago. Revenue for the quarter ended Nov. 28 came in at $ 793.1 million, up 34.8% year-over-year and topping analysts ’forecasts of $ 753 million.

“Obviously, we were very pleased with the way consumers moved to the outdoors in 2020 as they try to manage through the impact of the pandemic on their lives, and we think you will see a behavior-like trend in 2021, ”Happe said on“ Closing a bell. “

“There is a lot of pent-up demand, we believe, with customers who were interested in the area and the sector earlier this year and who may not have been inspired but are still very happy. explore a way to get RVing and navigation in 2021, ”the executive team said.

Winnebago Motor Homes exhibited at Winnebago Motor Homes in Rockford, Illinois.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

As the coronavirus pandemic took a critical social distance, many outdoor pursuits such as sailing, cycling and RV travel saw popularity. Happe alone does not hope that new American interest in the outdoors will continue into next year.

Earlier this month, Brunswick Chief Executive David Foulkes told CNBC, “We have a remarkable move in the [boating] business now. We have attracted a new demographic. … I think that gives us a big shift, not just next year but in the years to come. “

Winnebago, which sells RVn and boats, has seen a similar trend in buyers, according to Happe. “Our customers are getting younger. They are becoming more diverse in terms of background and image, and they are using the product in many different ways,” he said. “The movement of work from anywhere is very strong right now, and many of our new customers see these products as a way to work from the road or a beautiful campsite somewhere here in America.”

Shares of Winnebago are up 18% so far this year and more than 260% since the March 19 virus low.