Analyst touts Brunswick after December sales

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A 16.3 percent increase in December sales in the industry’s main powerboat segments has led a Wells Fargo analyst to remain upbeat on Brunswick Corp. stock.

“The uptick in sales growth, despite December typically being the slowest month at retail, rounded out a solid 2013, with full-year unit sales tracking up 6 percent, versus 11.2 percent in 2012,” Wells Fargo senior analyst Timothy Conder wrote.

Statistical Surveys last week reported the double-digit gain for December in the main segments and the single-digit advance for all of 2013 in a report that covered 27 states.

The growth outpaced initial conservative estimates, Conder wrote.

Conder’s statement comes prior to Brunswick releasing its fourth-quarter and annual earnings reports on Thursday, and is in contrast to a B. Riley & Co. analyst report that urged caution on Brunswick stock in November.

Brunswick remains an attractive investment because of clean inventory channels, a new and used dynamic that should tilt sales toward new boats, innovation, strong product pipelines with bigger margins and debt refinancing to free additional cash, Conder wrote.

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