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Analyst: MarineMax results good sign for Brunswick dealers

MarineMax's reporting today of a 5 percent decline in comparable store sales, and its statement that its inventory correction is complete, "further confirms that inventory issues among Brunswick Corp.'s dealers are past," said Tim Conder, from Walls Fargo Securities.

The report was made in advance of Brunswick's first-quarter earnings, set for release Thursday. MarineMax is Brunswick's largest customer.

The industry's first-quarter retail unit sales appear to have declined approximately 13.5 percent, which is slightly higher than the expected 10 percent decline for 2010, Conder said.

"Our industry/lending sources indicate that the remaining industry overhang should be cleaned up during the April-September key sales season," he said.

"We believe [Brunswick] has/will continue to be very cautious with its production in [the first half of 2010], then will aggressively ramp production for [model-year 2011] beginning in [the second half of 2010]." Conder said. "This could likely result in [Brunswick] posting slightly below Street expectations in [the first half of 2010], and above Street expectations in [the second half of 2010]."

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