MarineMax reports 1Q results

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MarineMax reported an improved financial picture in the first quarter, which ended Dec. 31, 2009, with a slight increase in revenue and an uptick in same-store sales.

Also reported was improved cash flow, less need for an aggressive pricing strategy and gross margins that have "rebounded dramatically from the levels we had been experiencing," chairman, president and CEO William H. McGill Jr. said this morning in a conference call with analysts.

Revenue was $100.4 million for the quarter, compared with $100.2 million for the comparable quarter last year. Same-store sales increased approximately 13 percent compared with a 52 percent decline in the comparable quarter last year.

Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 was $10.2 million, or 45 cents per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $14.3 million, or 78 cents per share, for the comparable quarter last year.

Included in net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 was a tax benefit of approximately $19.3 million, or 86 cents per diluted share. Without the tax benefit, the company would have incurred a net loss of $9.1 million, or 42 cents per share.

At the end of 2009, inventory was $190.2 million compared with $440.9 million on Dec. 31, 2008, a $250 million, or 57 percent, decline.

At mid-morning, MarineMax was trading at $10.44 per share, up from the previous day's close of $9.59 per share. The 52-week high and low are $10.68 and $1.19 respectively.

The company was able to produce consistent levels of revenue and an increase in same-store sales despite operating with 20 fewer stores compared with the prior year quarter. MarineMax closed 26 stores in fiscal 2009 as a key component in the company's efforts to better match its fixed costs with the decline in business.

"The actions we took during fiscal 2009 to reduce inventory, reduce our workforce, streamline expenses, and optimize our store count allowed us to report significantly improved results for the first quarter compared with the year ago quarter," McGill said.

"We believe our December quarter same-store sales growth once again outpaced our industry, yielding market share gains," he added. "While we have been encouraged to see hints of stabilization in the industry, we expect conditions to remain challenging for some time and we will remain focused on continuing to tightly control our expenses and inventory."

McGill said MarineMax has seen positive results so far at the winter boat shows, reporting sales have been flat or up at the shows. Also, he noted, some major manufacturers and dealers have not been present, which has helped MarineMax.

"It speaks to the weakness of a lot of the other dealers," he said.

McGill said he's confident that there is pent-up demand from boaters and as the economy continues to improve, he expects more visitors to the company's showrooms. The underwriting criteria has relaxed slightly, which should help more people get loans, he added.

"It's a more positive attitude concerning everything, that's what we're hearing," he said.