Analyst ups June boat sales projections

Retail sales in the main powerboat segments likely increased between 6 and 8 percent in June.

Retail sales in the main powerboat segments likely increased between 6 and 8 percent in June, a Wells Fargo marine industry analyst is projecting, an increase from initial forecasts of 4 to 6 percent.

That’s based on conversations senior analyst Timothy Conder has had with industry lending contacts. Follow-through from strong late May retail trends continued into the first half of June and then slowed through the end of the month, Conder wrote in a report released today.

“We believe that June's retail cadence was influenced by more difficult comps as the month progressed [and] increasing lack of inventory as model year 2016 concludes,” Conder wrote.

May retail sales, initially reported as being up 3.9 percent year-over-year, based on data from 25 early reporting states, will not likely be materially revised as additional states report.

Year-to-date June trends continue to demonstrate broad-based strength across industry categories, with aluminum boats, pontoons, yachts, ski and wake boats and runabouts seeing the highest growth. Conder expects between 9 and 12 percent dollar growth, given “richer mix trends.”

Aged U.S. dealer inventory — meaning new product older than 12 months still in dealer inventory — is down to a record 9 percent for the year to date and has held below 14 percent since 2012.

Inventory turns are tracking at 2.6 times year-to-date, versus 2.5 times year-to-date — which was the prior record year. Turns are 2.3 times for the full year in 2015, versus 1.7 to 1.9 times at the prior 2006 market peak, Conder wrote.

Manufacturers are likely to revise production upward beginning late in the third quarter, Conder said.

“OEMs [are] awaiting model year 2017 dealer meetings [and] orders in Q3 of 2016 — most in August — before adjusting production schedules,” Conder wrote. “We believe production in late Q3 2016 [and] Q4 2016 will ultimately be revised modestly upward, given the ongoing trajectory of retail sales, record-high inventory turns and record low aging.”


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