MarineMax reports 4Q results

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MarineMax saw a 25 percent increase in revenue and a same-store sales increase of about 41 percent for the fourth quarter ending Sept. 30, but it reported a net loss of $33 million for the period.

The company's same-store sales increase was the first reported in more than two years, chairman, president and CEO William McGill Jr. said this morning in a conference call with analysts.

For the fiscal year, the company reported a net loss of $76.8 million, or $4.11 per share, compared to a net loss of $134.3 million, or $7.30 per share, for fiscal 2008. Revenue for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 was $588.6 million, compared to $885.4 million for fiscal year 2008. Same-store sales declined approximately 29 percent, compared to a 28 percent decline for the previous fiscal year.

Revenue for the fourth quarter was $207.2 million, compared to $165.6 million for the comparable quarter last year. Net loss for the fourth quarter was $33 million, or $1.72 per share, compared to a net loss of $11.1 million, or 60 cents per share, for the comparable quarter last year.

At the end of the fourth quarter, inventory declined 56 percent, or $262.7 million, to $205.9 million, compared to $468.6 million as of Sept. 30, 2008. Short-term borrowings declined 62 percent, or $230 million, to $142 million, compared to $372 million as of Sept. 30, 2008.

"Our planned strategy to reduce our inventory levels and strengthen our competitive position was very successful during the fourth quarter. We reported our largest sequential inventory reduction to date, dropping significantly from the June quarter and over $262 million from last year-end," said McGill.

Much of the inventory the company now has on hand is "fresh" and newer inventory, CFO Michael McLamb said during this morning's call, which should allow MarineMax to get back to higher margins.

"We're pretty darn close to where we need to be on inventory," he said.

"Our inventory and cost reduction strategy allowed us to generate over $200 million of cash flows from operations during fiscal 2009 and significantly reduce our outstanding borrowings, further strengthening our financial position," McGill said.

"Our key balance sheet ratios improved significantly year-over-year. We believe that the actions we have taken to lower our expense structure, streamline our store footprint, and reduce our inventory levels positions us to achieve improved operating margins and take advantage of growth opportunities in the future," he added.

Clearwater, Fla.-based MarineMax closed an additional 11 stores during the September quarter, bringing the total store closures to 26 during fiscal 2009. The company said the planned store closures were a key component in its efforts to match fixed costs with the decline in business caused by the soft economic conditions.

Marine Max now has a total of 55 stores, down from 93 stores at the company's peak. McGill said this morning that the company is no longer in Northern California or Utah, though it could re-enter those markets in the future.

McLamb estimated that historically MarineMax has seen about $13 million per year in revenue per store, and that should go up with the smaller number of stores and fewer competitors.

"We're seeing a lot of fallout in the market and we believe there will be even more," McGill said.

At midmorning, MarineMax stock was trading at $7.45 per share, up from the previous day's close of $6.66 per share. Its 52-week high and low are $8.79 and $1.19, respectively.

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