BOLTING LANDING, N.Y. ( Stockpickr) -- With Independence Day memories fresh and yet another heat wave sticking over the East Coast, I thought that it would be apropos to take a look at some summertime stocks. And since much of my summer revolves around spending time on my 25-foot Harris FloteBote Royal Heritage Pontoon on Lake George in upstate New York, I'm going to focus on recreational vehicles. Whether you plan on spending the summer on water or on land, there are several interesting investment opportunities.

The company that makes my boat, Harris Kayot, has been owned by Brunswick ( BC) since 2005. Powering the boat is a 115-horsepower Honda 4-stroke engine made by Honda Motor ( HMC), which besides cars and trucks, manufactures marine engines and personal water craft (PWCs).Other popular PWCs and boats are manufactured by Sea Doo, a Bombardier (Pink Sheets: BDRBF) company, and the Wave Runner by Yamaha Motor (Pink Sheets: YAMHF). Also seen on our national waterways are boats and engines manufactured by Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick, perhaps one of the purest plays in the marine arena.
beach house

If you escape the summer heat in a pool rather than a lake or the ocean, it's likely that some of the products produced by Pool ( POOL) are in or around that pool. Arch Chemicals ( ARJ) manufacturers one of the most recognizable brands of pool chemicals, HTH. I would note that the dividends for both Pool, at 2.44%, and Arch Chemicals, at 2.59%, have dividends that exceed the dividend yield of the S&P 500, which is approximately 2.1%.

For those who prefer to take their summer fun on the road in an RV, this is a very tough segment of the recreational industry, due to the spike in gasoline prices in 2008, followed by the credit crisis and recession. Fleetwood Enterprises, for example, filed for bankruptcy in 2009. When it comes to RVs, the name that comes to most peoples' minds is Winnebago ( WGO). While the company has not earned money in several years, analysts are expecting a profit of 28 cents a share in 2010 and 58 cents a share in 2011. The company has $76 million in cash with no long-term debt. Should the RV industry rebound, Winnebago will lead the way.
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Also in the RV world, Forest River manufacturers both Coachman RVs and Pontoon boats under the Berkshire and South Bay brands. Since 2005, the company is owned by Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.A) ( BRK.B). And the largest public company in this segment is Thor Industries ( THO), which makes RVs and commercial transportation vehicles. Thor made 31 cents a share last year and is expected to earn $1.88 in 2010 and $2.41 in 2011. Thor also has a strong balance sheet, with $143 million in cash and short-term investments and zero long-term debt. Thor might be the best place in this recreational segment.

My top picks for our Stockpickrs in each of those categories that I mentioned above are:

  • Marine: Honda Motor. Not only does this Japanese vehicle company make great boat engines, but it is taking market share from the embattled Toyota (TM). As I mentioned above, Brunswick may be the purest play, but Honda is the best investment.

  • Who Owns Brunswick?

  • Pools: Arch Chemicals. I like Arch's higher dividend and more-diversified portfolio of products. Pool acts more like a home builder, having derived much of its growth from the home building and renovation boom, which I don't see coming back soon.
  • RVs: Thor is the place to go if you want the product line balance. Winnebago is the deep value but higher-risk investment.
  • -- Written by Scott Rothbort in Bolton Landing, N.Y.


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    At the time of publication, Rothbort was long BRK.B in a single legacy account, although positions can change at any time.

    Scott Rothbort has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. He is the Founder and President of LakeView Asset Management, a registered investment advisor specializing in customized separate account management for high net worth individuals. In addition, he is the founder of, an educational social networking site; and, publisher of The LakeView Restaurant & Food Chain Report. Rothbort is also a Term Professor of Finance at Seton Hall University's Stillman School of Business, where he teaches courses in finance and economics. He is the Chief Market Strategist for The Stillman School of Business and the co-supervisor of the Center for Securities Trading and Analysis.

    Mr. Rothbort is a regular contributor to's RealMoney Silver website and has frequently appeared as a professional guest on Bloomberg Radio, Bloomberg Television, Fox Business Network, CNBC Television, TV and local television. As an expert in the field of derivatives and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), he frequently speaks at industry conferences. He is an ETF advisory board member for the Information Management Network, a global organizer of institutional finance and investment conferences. In addition, he is widely quoted in interviews in the printed press and on the internet.

    Mr. Rothbort founded LakeView Asset Management in 2002. Prior to that, since 1991, he worked at Merrill Lynch, where he held a wide variety of senior-level management positions, including Business Director for the Global Equity Derivative Department, Global Director for Equity Swaps Trading and Risk Management, and Director for secured funding and collateral management for the Global Capital Markets Group and Corporate Treasury. Prior to working at Merrill Lynch, within the financial services industry, he worked for County Nat West Securities and Morgan Stanley, where he had international assignments in Tokyo, Hong Kong and London. He began his career working at Price Waterhouse from 1982 to 1984.

    Mr. Rothbort received an M.B.A., majoring in Finance and International Business from the Stern School of Business, New York University, in 1992, and a B.Sc. in Economics, majoring in Accounting, from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, in 1982. He is also a graduate of the prestigious Stuyvesant High School in New York City. Mr. Rothbort is married to Layni Horowitz Rothbort, a real estate attorney, and together they have five children.