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Analyst: Marine industry upturn not expected until 2010

It may be another 18 months to two years before the marine industry sees a significant turnaround, according to the latest analyst report from Wachovia Capital Markets.

“The U.S. marine industry environment remains very challenging, especially in California and Florida,” said Wachovia’s Tim Conder in his report.

He noted that California and Florida make up about 30 percent of industry sales, and both markets were down 30-40 percent year-over-year in March.

Conder said some boatbuilders are shutting production in-season rather than just the typical November/December shutdowns. He said the industry likely will see “accelerated dealer/manufacturer failures” this fall.

Conder goes on to say that auctions for used/repossessed and new boats are accelerating, and the high-end boat market — the last area of strength — is starting to weaken.

The analyst said he sees “little material upside catalyst through year end ’08.”

In fact, he said, “Dependent on ’09 retail sell-through, we believe it will be 2010 (at the earliest) before the first material upturn in the U.S. marine industry will be evident.”

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