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Thor Tops Profit Forecasts

The RV maker posts a 54% rise in earnings.

Recreational-vehicle maker

Thor Industries

(THO) - Get Free Report

recorded a 54% jump in its second-quarter profit, helped by strength in its towables business and improved gross margins.

The company earned $31.8 million, or 56 cents a share, in the quarter ended Jan. 31, compared with $20.6 million, or 36 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 47 cents a share.

Second-quarter revenue rose 19.5% to $642 million from $537million a year earlier. Analysts were expecting revenue of $615.1 million for the quarter.

"Several factors contributed to this record performance, including continuing exceptional strength in our towables business; a decline in warranty costs in the quarter; profits at Thor California versus a loss last year; and improvements in bus sales and profits," said Wade F. B. Thompson, Thor chairman, in a statement.

The company also said it plans a 40% hike in its quarterly dividend, boosting the payout to 7 cents a share from 5 cents. The new dividend is payable April 3 to stockholders of record on March 17.

The company's shares were up $1.10, or 2.4%, to $46.43.

This story was created through a joint venture between and IRIS.