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Analyst upgrades MarineMax stock

MarineMax got a boost this week when Longbow Research upgraded the company’s stock from neutral to buy.

MarineMax got a boost this week when Longbow Research upgraded the company’s stock from neutral to buy.

The upgrade was in a note Longbow issued to investors on Tuesday. The company’s stock was trading at $17.20 a share shortly before 11 a.m. today on the New York Stock Exchange.

Last month, MarineMax reported fiscal third-quarter results that included revenue and profit increases. The company said revenue grew 8 percent to $231.8 million compared with $214.4 million in the comparable quarter last year, accelerating market share gains during the busy summer selling season.

The company reported a profit for the quarter of $14.9 million, or 59 cents a diluted share (including a $1.6 million, or 6-cent-a-diluted share gain from the sale of real estate), an increase from $11.5 million, or 47 cents a share, in the comparable quarter last year.

Revenue grew about 22 percent to $562.1 million for the nine months that ended June 30, compared with $460.6 million for the comparable period last year.

Same-store sales increased about 23 percent on top of 5 percent growth in the comparable period last year. The company’s profit for the nine-month period improved to $15.5 million, or 61 cents a diluted share, which includes the real estate sale gain of $1.6 million, or 6 cents a diluted share, compared with net income of $6.2 million, or 25 cents a diluted share, for the comparable period last year.

MarineMax said an increase of fresh product in stores and better weather in the Midwest and Northeast helped it gain sales momentum in June and July.

“I do think that what we’re seeing is probably some delayed reaction in some of the markets that had maybe not the best weather to start the summer with,” MarineMax CEO William McGill said during a July 22 conference call to discuss the earnings report.

“I think that’s part of it, and I also think as we get more fresher product in our stores and the stores are getting the proper level of inventory, the fresher product, that’s certainly helping sales,” McGill said. “Whereas maybe in the June quarter, for some of the models we would get one, it would sell, and you would wait a week or two to get another one. I think we’re starting to get more product in, which is helping from a unit sale perspective, also.”

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