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Winnebago launches US$70mln stock buyback after Q4 results top Wall Street forecasts

“We made significant progress in fiscal 2017 to transform Winnebago Industries into a larger, more profitable outdoor lifestyle company offering a full line of RVs”
Winnebago has almost become synonymous with RVs and motor homes

Recreational vehicle maker Winnebago Industries Inc (NYSE:WGO) topped its fourth quarter profit and sales expectations, and subsequently launched a US$70mln stock buyback program.

Net income for the three months ended August 26 jumped to US$24.92mln or US$0.79 a share, from US$13.1mln or US$0.49 a share in the same period in 2016.

That comfortably beat Wall Street forecasts of US$0.71 a share, as did revenue which soared to US$454.9mln (Q4 16: US$263.3mln). Analysts had expected US$439.9mln.

Winnebago said it was looking to “reinvigorate” its motorized division, which saw sales fall 4.4% to US$226.2mln, although towable more than made up for that – rising sharply to US$439.9mln (Q4 16: US$26.6mln), with the Grand Design acquisition added US$193.4mln on its own.

Given the strong performance, Winnebago said it would look to repurchase US$70mln worth of stock, which represents about 5% of its market capitalisation.

“We made significant progress in fiscal 2017 to transform Winnebago Industries into a larger, more profitable outdoor lifestyle company offering a full line of RVs,” said president and chief executive Michael Happe.

“We continue to deliver robust sales growth and gross margin improvements, driven largely by the strong performance of our Grand Design division and the organic growth in our Winnebago-branded Towable division.

“On the Motorized side, our results reflect our strategic direction of repositioning and simplifying our product line, but also the changing trends of the Motorized buyer to more affordable Class A and Class C motorhomes.

He added: “Our work to streamline and reinvigorate our Motorized product line is an active priority.”

Shares gained in pre-market but were down 0.6% to US$44.20 in early deals once the market opened.

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Winnebago Industries Timeline

October 13 2016

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