MarineMax reports 1Q losses

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MarineMax reported a 53 percent drop in revenue and widened its net loss for the first quarter, which ended Dec. 31, 2008.

Revenue was $100.2 million, compared to $215.3 million for the year-ago quarter. Same-store sales declined about 52 percent, compared to a 9 percent decrease in the comparable quarter last year.

The net loss for the recent quarter was $14.3 million, or 78 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $6.4 million, or 35 cents per share, for the first quarter of 2008.

MarineMax stock was trading at $1.68 late this morning. The 52-week high and low were $16.18 and $1.25.

MarineMax attributed the sales decline to the economic downturn and the volatility in the financial markets. But the company continued to streamline its cost structure and reduced inventory levels by more than $90 million on a year-over-year basis, according to William H. McGill Jr., chairman, president and CEO.

“This reduction is more impressive considering our large drop in sales and the fact that December is generally our lowest sales quarter,” McGill said in a statement.

He also said the company was able to maintain a healthy gross margin because service, parts and accessories grew as a percentage of the business. Lastly, MarineMax secured an amendment to its credit facility in the first quarter to improve its financial flexibility.

“While we have done our fair share of cost-cutting, the industry will likely continue to be impacted by the soft economy,” McGill said. “The good news is that our customers’ passion for the lifestyle of boating has not faltered, as they enjoy boating as a recreation with their families.”

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