Analyst: Boat sales could grow 10 percent this year

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The U.S. marine industry could be on pace to see unit retail growth as high as 10 percent in 2011, according to Tim Conder, a senior analyst with Wells Fargo Securities.

Conder, a Brunswick Corp. analyst, said the conclusion comes from conversations with industry contacts after the Miami International Boat Show.

"Optimism remains rooted in the fact that the supply of excess quality used boats and non-current new boats is exhausted and that used boat prices are rising, making a new boat choice more palatable," he wrote.

"We would quickly acknowledge that it remains very early in the retail boat selling season and that solid initial clarity of sell-through will not be available until April," he said, adding that Wells Fargo continues to view Brunswick shares "as offering an attractive risk/reward profile."