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.
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.