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MarineMax reports 1Q results

MarineMax today reported a decrease in revenue and same-store sales for its fiscal first quarter, but company officials said new units sold were up 25 percent, compared with the same period last year, and margins were increased.

Much of the revenue decline, they said, was based on fewer used boats sold - a consequence of having less used inventory available.

Revenue was $92.2 million for the quarter that ended Dec. 31, compared with $100.4 million for the comparable quarter last year. Same-store sales declined about 8 percent, compared with a 13 percent increase in the comparable quarter last year.

Revenue from stores that were not eligible for inclusion in the same-store sales base was $600,000.

The net loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 was $4.7 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with net income of $10.2 million, or 45 cents a share, in the comparable quarter last year.

Inventory for the quarter declined $1 million, or 1 percent, to $189.2 million, compared with $190.2 million on Dec. 31, 2009. Sequentially, inventory remained flat, compared with the quarter that ended Sept. 30, 2010, despite the seasonal increase that the industry typically experiences.

In general, the aging of inventory has improved, chairman, president and CEO William McGill Jr. noted in a call this morning with analysts. Leaner used-boat inventory should continue to lead to further increases in new-boat sales, he said.

McGill noted that many boat shows are reporting increased attendance, although in some cases bad weather is affecting crowds. Also, he added, more show goers seem to be in a better position to get financing and more "firm" deals are being reported.

"It does appear that the industry may have finally bottomed out," he said.

McGill also said the company is going back to its pricing scheme of giving consumers the bottom-line price up front, which eliminates the need for haggling and negotiating.

"It's being very, very well-received," he said. "[Customers] appreciate us getting back to it."

"While our results continue to be pressured by the overall challenging economic environment, we were encouraged by several points of progress in our business during the quarter," McGill said in a statement.

"While it remains difficult to predict the timing of a full recovery for our industry, we believe that we are very well positioned. MarineMax has a streamlined expense structure, an attractive footprint of stores, industry leading brands, a proven customer-focused strategy and the financial strength to take advantage of opportunities as they arise," he added.

MarineMax stock opened today at $8.93 a share. Its 52-week high and low are $12.79 and $6.17.

Based in Clearwater, Fla., MarineMax is the nation's largest recreational boat and yacht retailer.

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