UPDATE 1-Winnebago posts higher-than-expected 4th-qtr sales, profit
CHICAGO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Winnebago Industries Inc , the No. 1 U.S. motor-home manufacturer, reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday.
The company, small but closely watched because of the window it provides on consumer spending on big-ticket discretionary items, said its sales order backlog grew for a sixth consecutive quarter - a reflection of dealer optimism about the economic recovery.
Winnebago reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $10.6 million, or 38 cents a share, compared with $40.9 million, or $1.41 a share last year.
Sales rose 32 percent to $214.2 million.
In a statement, Randy Potts, the company's chairman, CEO and president, said the results reflected strong deliveries to Winnebago's network of independent dealers and increased demand from consumers for the company's RVs, which range in price from about $65,000 to more than $300,000.
Analysts, on average, expected the Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago to report a profit of 28 cents a share on sales of $208 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The year-ago results reflected a one-time, non-cash tax item. Stripping out the effect of the item, Winnebago's EPS more than doubled this year to 38 cents a share from an adjusted 14 cents a share last year.