Analyst sees slow boat-sales growth in September

U.S. powerboat sales are expected to be flat to up as much as 2 percent in September.
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U.S. powerboat sales are expected to be flat to up as much as 2 percent in September, with retail dollar sales up 4 to 5 percent, based on analyst discussions with marine lenders.

September retail activity accelerated in the back half of the month after starting flattish, said a new report from Wells Fargo Securities.

Wells Fargo said results during the third quarter have been on track for the 6 percent full-year sales growth the firm is predicting. September and third-quarter sales typically account for about 5.8 percent of annual sales and 29.9 percent of dollar sales for the year.

“Year-to-date trends continue to demonstrate broad-based strength across boating segments,” Wells Fargo senior analyst Tim Conder wrote.

U.S. dealer aged inventory — or new product more than 12 months old — is currently averaging 10.8 percent versus 11.2 percent in 2015, and 12.8 percent in 2014.

Dealer inventory turns are tracking 2.8 times year-to-date versus 2.6 times in 2015.

“Inventory aging and turns continue to track to a fourth consecutive year of historical record best levels,” the report said.

Given the circumstances, “we believe it would take a major external shock to derail the U.S. industry trajectory,” the report said. “The National Marine Manufacturers Association expects the industry to grow for two to three more years, given consumer confidence levels and spending trends. In our view, marine equity values remain attractive.”

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