Brunswick stock drops on weak May sales

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Shares of Brunswick Corp. stock fell Tuesday on worries that boat sales this year may be weaker than previously expected.

Raymond James analyst Joseph Hovorka said his firm's survey of Florida, Texas and North Carolina, which represent about 23 percent of the U.S. retail boat market, showed retail boat sales fell 26 percent in May, putting year-to-date sales down 18 percent, worse than the industry was expecting, The Wall Street Journal reports.

"With the reported May 2010 declines having accelerated to the downside relative to April, we believe there is little support for an improved marine retail recovery," Hovorka said, adding that the states saw a 16 percent decline in the first quarter.

In recent trading, Brunswick shares dropped 8.3 percent to $15.38. The stock is down 3.2 percent over the last three months.

Brunswick stock opened Wednesday morning at $15.16 per share. It's 52-week high and low are $22.89 and $3.49.

Sales of big-ticket items such as boats have fared poorly during the recession and Brunswick responded with downsizing, reducing output and cutting inventory. Those moves started to pay off, as the company in April reported improved sales and a narrower loss for the first quarter.