Drew Industries, Inc. ( DW)

Q3 2010 Earnings Conference Call

November 1, 2010 11:00 AM ET


Jeff Tryka – IR, Lambert Edwards

Fred Zinn – President and CEO

Joe Giordano – CFO and Treasurer

Jason Lippert – Chairman and CEO, Lippert Components and Kinro

Leigh Abrams – Chairman


Jamie Baskin – Thompson Research Group

Bret Jordan – Avondale Partners

Scott Stember – Sidoti & Company

Torin Eastburn – CJS Securities

Liam Burke – Janney Capital Markets

Arnold Bree – Goldsmith & Harris

Barry Vogel – Barry Vogel and Associates

Deforest Hinneman [ph] – Walton & Co.



Good day ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the third quarter 2010 Drew Industries Incorporated earnings conference call. My name is Alisha and I’ll be your coordinator for today. At this time, all participants are in a listen only mode. We will be conducting a question and answer session towards the end of this conference. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded for replay purposes. I would now like to turn the presentation over to your host for today, Mr. Jeff Tryka, Lambert Edwards Drew Industries Firm. Please go ahead sir.

Jeff Tryka

Thank you Alisha. Good morning everyone and welcome to the Drew Industries 2010 third quarter conference call. I’m Jeff Tryka with Lambert Edwards, Drew’s Investor Relations firm, and I have with me today, members of Drew’s management team including Leigh Abrams, Chairman of the Board of Drew, Fred Zinn, President and CEO and Director of Drew; Jason Lippert, Chairman and CEO of Lippert Components and Kinro, and Joe Giordano, CFO and Treasurer of Drew.

We want to take a few minutes to discuss our quarterly results. However, before we do so, it is my responsibility to inform you that certain statements made in today’s conference call regarding Drew Industries and its operations, may be considered forward-looking statements under the Securities laws. As a result, I must caution you that there are a number of factors, many of which are beyond the company’s control, which could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. These factors are identified in our press releases, our Form 10-K for the year ended 2009 and in our subsequent Form 10-Q’s all as filed with the SEC.

With that, I would like to turn the call over to Fred Zinn.

Fred Zinn

Thank you Jeff, and thank all of you for joining us on the call and on the webcast. Once again, we are very pleased with our results, particularly in light of economic conditions. Drew’s operating management team has continued to perform extremely well under difficult circumstance and in the last 18 months, the seasonal swings in our business have been even more pronounced than we’ve experienced in many years.

This increased volatility complicates production scheduling, shipping requirements, employment levels, and other factors which impact factory operations. They haven’t been perfect, but I believe that our team has done a darn good job under these very difficult conditions.

I’m also pleased with our response to the challenges presented by the changing business environment. During the recession, our concentration was primarily on cost control, which served us well in managing through that difficult period.

This year, we’ve taken a more balanced approach, devoting equal time and attention to opportunities available to us because of our strong financial position. The four acquisitions we completed this year, and our increased spending to expand capacity, demonstrates that we’re ready to invest our considerable resources to enhance our growth potential.

Further, we’ve sharpened our focus on strategic planning and the evaluation of longer term growth opportunities so that we’ll have the key people and other resources necessary to continue to expand for years to come.

In the near term however, our growth potential is primarily tied to the RV industry. Therefore, we’re quite pleased that retail sales of travel trailer and fifth wheel RV’s remained so strong throughout the summer. These significant increases in demand despite the weak economy support our belief that the RV lifestyle continues to be a priority for families across the United States.

From April through August 2010, retail sales exceeded production of travel trailer and fifth wheel RV’s by an aggregate of more than 11,000 units, leaving RV dealer inventories in much better shape. During this seasonally slower period, we expect that RV dealers will remain cautious about their purchases and inventory levels.

This could impact industry wide production levels in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the fourth quarter last year when dealers increased inventory and production significantly exceeded retail sales.

On the other hand, looking forward to 2011, continuing strength in retail demand as the economy recovers, would drive dealer orders and factory production, especially with dealer inventories now at much lower levels.

We’re also optimistic about the longer term potential of the RV industry beyond 2011. Retail sales of RV’s are still well below the levels reached just a few years ago. In 2007, retail sales of travel trailer and fifth wheel RV’s exceeded 275,000 units. This was nearly 100,000 units more than are expected to be sold in 2010.

While easier credit likely bolstered 2007 demand, we believe the RV industry is still far below its potential, particularly due to the continuing popularity of the RV lifestyle. With continuing economic improvements, reasonable increases in credit availability and favorable demographic trends, we expect the RV industry to grow substantially in the coming years.

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