Analysts approve of MarineMax’s cutbacks

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Despite the more than 50 percent drop in sales for its fiscal 2009 first quarter, MarineMax is getting good marks from analysts.

“Results demonstrate that management is taking the right steps to weather the severe downturn in the marine industry,” said Hayley B. Wolff, senior equity research analyst for Rochdale Securities, in a recent report.

“Expenses were well-controlled. Operating cash flow totaled $28 million and debt came down $43 million sequentially and $87 million year-over-year,” Wolff noted.

She also highlighted MarineMax’s efforts to reduce excess inventory, which was down 17 percent in dollars and 40 percent in units compared to the year-ago period. She said further inventory reductions are likely.

Wolff notes that floorplan finance availability is beginning to hurt some dealers, and the marine market remains under siege with industry sales down in the 40-percent range.

“We will likely see a shakeout with fewer retailers and manufacturers emerging from the severe downturn,” Wolff said in the report. However, she said MarineMax “should be a survivor.”

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