Analyst upgrades MarineMax stock

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MarineMax stock was upgraded to buy from hold by Rochdale Securities.

“Cost-cutting, together with a stabilizing marine market, should enable [MarineMax] to march toward profitability in FY 2010,” senior equity research analyst Hayley Wolff wrote in her report. “This compares with a consensus that is calling for a dramatic loss.”

While discounting to move non-current inventory pressured margins this fiscal year, pricing should firm up, with inventory levels down and aging improving, Wolff said.

“Margins on current inventory have held up. We expect gross margins to improve in 2010,” she said in her report.

“We are not pronouncing that the marine market is on the rise, but [MarineMax] has taken steps to move toward profitability and is positioned to gain share when we emerge from this deep downturn,” Wolff added.

MarineMax is still in the process of closing stores, she noted. “We expect store count to settle out at 55 to 60, down from 65 at the end of the prior quarter.”

In early morning trading, MarineMax stock was selling at $7.17 per share, down from its close of $7.41 Monday. Its 52-week high and low are $8.79 and $1.19.


10 comments on “Analyst upgrades MarineMax stock

  1. steve s

    What a sweet batch of cool aide! What’s next, will we hear things like they’re too big to fail? This company is the poster child of what what’s wrong with our industry. Their business example has been, monopoly greed is good and treating the employee/customer like crap. When will others stop turning a blind eye and point out what a negative impact Marinemax has been on our industry? 

  2. john ennis

    What has she been smoking and where can I get some. Marine Max is in serious trouble and appears to be doing little more then treading water in a financial sea of red. 2010 is not going to be any better for the industry then 2009 was. People do not purchase boats when the unemployment rate continues to set records and the job market shows no signs of improvement. They try and sell them to pay the mortgage.

  3. arch

    Steve S is exactly right.  The Max has been bad for our industry.  It’s not a  good move to buy the stock right now either in my opinion.

  4. Randy S

    I must agree also with Steve S.  Marine dealerships are very personal and do not need to be in that “Box Store” group.  This is a service industry, and cannot be run by big business that does not understand true service.  They are worried about how many boats are sold, not what type of boat is sold to whom.  Fit does not matter, if the customer’s credit is good.  Well now all of the credit is gone, and there is a glut of boats on the market at distressed pricing, and the little guy is going to loose.  I wish no ill on any one, but Marine Maxx is not good for this industry.

  5. Mark Menachem

    As a twelve year veteran of Marinemax (hired by Bassett Boat Company), I am of course somewhat biased in my opinions. Dick Bassett and Bill McGill were both very good boat dealers. They were smart and responsive to their customers and their employees. When a company grows as quickly as Marinemax did, their are bound to be some missteps and growing pains. Certainly we are in very good company. Many of the greatest corporations in the history of the world are in a great deal of trouble and have downsized, trimmed expenses and reduced inventory and/or production. The culture at Marinemax was never hurtful or degrading to customers or employees. Bill and Dick always preached that if we shared our love of boating and the improvement to the quality of life it brought to families, the sales would follow. We shared great Getaways adventures lasting from one day to two weeks with our family of customers. We offered great classes free of charge, sponsored events and most important, trained our customers how to use and enjoy their boats. The vast majority of customers and boaters know we are doing the right thing. We also strive to get better all the time, but our hearts are always in the right place.
    It has never in my twelve years been my eperience to witness high-pressure of any kind, abuse in any way or anything but the best motives. Of course we are a business and need to make a profit. This is healthy not only for our company but for our customers. We cannot service our thousands of customers properly if we do not have money to do it with.
    Our store in Miami has been in continuous operation since 1978. Many of our employees have been with us for between ten and twenty-five years. Try to find that in Best Buy or your local car dealer. That is reassuring to many customers. I know it is to me.
    If you are in the market for a boat or yacht, or just need professional advice, you could not do better anywhere than at Marinemax.
    Please visit us at this week’s Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show.
    Mark Menachem

  6. B Barrington

    The previous respondents obviously don’t know much about MM or their standing in the boating industry. Without question MM has done more to turn around a negative consumer experience by their relentless dedication to serving customers beyond expectations. The leadership of the “Bull Dog” Bill McGill not to accept the status quo and positively change the boating industry has been driven by his passion for the industry. Yes, they may have been aggressive at times in their expansion however the consumer has been the winner. Boating Industry Magazine grew so tired of MM winning the dealership awards every year, they made them “Emeritus” so other dealer could have a chance to win. Now, that doesn’t sound like a company who treats their customers’ like “Crap”!!

  7. eddyboats419

    i have been in the business for most of my life. the main comment that i want to make is something that i have been saying for 20 years…the boat business is NOT the car business. i’m no genius but i predicted this outcome for companies like mm since day one. what was the name of that other conglomerate that failed before it started ? Passport or something like that ? the one that was trying to be the mm of formula dealers. they actually thought they were going to succeed despite launching their little monopoly play at the start of the recession. a first year business major could see that was going to be a mistake. what are these people thinking ?? we need to keep it simple. fewer dealers, smaller dealers, fewer manufacturers and fewer models. unlike the car business, there is not an endless supply of boat buyers and even if there was there is not enough space and services available anyway.

  8. David Minsky

    Here are the facts:
    MarineMax is a soild company!  Just because they dominant the market doesn’t make them the big bad greedy company.  They invest more money on each customer than any mom and pop ever would! Example, Great Getaways, Sea Ray, Meridian, Boston Whaler, Azimut, Hatteras, Cabo, Grady White Show Case’s.
    Fishing Seminars, Plenty of Safe Boating Classes, Meet your Service advisor day, New Boat Orientation Seminar’s, Water on Water classes, Blessing of the Fleet, Shark and fishing tips, Marina Docktail parties, Family Movie Night and BBQ, Kids in Boating, Service Q & A Seminar’s, and endless local events.
    MarineMax gives back more than you can ever image!
    It’s nice to know, if something breaks on your boat and you need it fixed, you have about 55 MarineMax locations that will get it fixed and speak the same langauge.  Don’t be afraid, MarineMax may be big, but they are wonderful, honest, caring, compassate, trust worthly folks!  I have purchase 4 boats from them and won’t think about going anywhere else…
     Thank you MarineMax!

  9. boatman11

    Yes Eddyboats. That was Passport Marine.
    Their singular goal was to become another Marine Max. In two years. With no infrastucture, no customer service, and no employee loyalty. It was destined to fail from day one. The only ones who didn’t see this, or who didn’t want to see this  were the principals of the company.
    Unfortunately for the marine industry, the fallout from Passport Marine and other similar thinking boat dealers  have damaged this industry for years to come. From bank floorplaning, to inventory glut, to customer service.
    They all consistantly put down Marine Max, yet who is left standing?

  10. steve s

    It’s amazing to see how some are still buying into Bill’s cheesey cliches and snake oil. However, the truth will always get in the way of a good story. Lets look at the facts and carnage Monopolymax laid down out west. They rolled into Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego with their 30% monopoly margins and horrible service. Then did a midnight move out like the gypsy grifters they are. Leaving in their wake marine industry damage that will take years to repair. At minimum, 60% of their former employees, vendors and customers will have nothing positive to say about this company. By the way, I wonder how Bill and his cronies will split their year end bonus loot…aka…the public stock offering last month.  

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