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Brunswick Stock Soars 10% as Earnings Fall Less Than Expected

Brunswick ,the world's largest boat maker, reported earnings that dipped sharply but still pleasantly surprised Wall Street, sending its shares sharply higher.

Neither company altogether avoided the downturn -- a product of higher energy prices and interest rates and the cooling of the housing market, which has made it harder for consumers to use their homes as piggybanks.

The Lake Forest, Illinois-based boat builder, said its quarterly earnings tumbled 32% as a "challenging" marine market continued to throw cold water on sales of its pricey toys in North America.

But the decline was smaller than expected.

The better-than-expected performance was a result of strength in overseas boat sales as well as growth in its fitness equipment business, which permitted the company to stand by its full-year forecast.

In a note to investors, Tim Conder, an analyst at AG Edwards, said he was "pleasantly surprised" by the international strength.

"We will continue to closely monitor what continue to be weakening trends in the U.S. boat market," Conder wrote, "but are encouraged by the greater than anticipated benefit of the company's marine international diversification."

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