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Analyst Sees Revenue Growth For RV Industry

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) ¿ Shares of Winnebago Industries Inc. and Thor Industries Inc. rose Friday as an analyst said improving sales trends for the two recreational vehicle companies will continue through next year.

Analyst Gregory R. Badishkanian of Citi Research said in a client note that, according to discussions with industry representatives at a recent RV trade show and with dealers later, inventories are being replenished and unfilled orders should fuel growth over the next few quarters.

Although credit is still tight, he said it has "modestly eased" each month year-to-date.

However, manufacturers are conservative in their outlook, Badishkanian said, and supply shortages, particularly with motor home chassis, will temper sales growth.

Thor Industries, based in Jackson Center, Ohio, said Nov. 30 that profit more than quadrupled in its fiscal first quarter, lifted by cost-cutting and a modest increase in RV sales.

Winnebago, however, said in mid-October its fourth-quarter loss widened as the company based in Forest City, Iowa, struggled with falling deliveries, promotional pricing and customers' continuing struggles in getting financing.

But the nation's top motor home maker said dealer inventories are very close to reaching bottom and it expects dealers will soon need to start replenishing stock.

Shares of Thor rose 28 cents to $29.28 in midday trading. Winnebago shares increased 4 cents to $10.70.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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