FOREST CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Rising motor home deliveries and the sale of a factory helped Winnebago Industries Inc. reverse a loss from last year and post its third-straight quarterly profit, the company said Thursday.
The Forest City, Iowa, company, which struggled during the economic downturn as motorhome sales fell, said it expects continued sales growth even though it remains cautious during the slower winter sales months.
Its latest results beat Wall Street estimates and its shares rose $1.19, or 9 percent, to $14.28 in pre-market trading.
Winnebago said its net income amounted to $3.8 million, or 13 cents per share, for the first quarter of its 2011 fiscal year that ended on Nov. 27. That compares with a loss of $1.3 million, or 5 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
Revenue was $123.7 million, up almost 53 percent from $81 million in the year-ago quarter.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a profit of 2 cents per share on revenue of $96.9 million.
"Increased motor home deliveries continued to drive the improvement in our first quarter fiscal 2011 results," Chairman and CEO Bob Olson said in a statement.
The company reported a $644 million gain from the sale of a factory in Charles City, Iowa to CGS Tires US Inc. that closed in November. Last year's first-quarter loss would have been even worse without the positive impact of $4.9 million in tax benefits from a fiscal 2009 net operating loss, the company said.
Winnebago also said the average selling price of a motor home increased during the first quarter because of a shift to higher-priced products. The company also benefited from cost cuts and labor efficiencies, the statement said.
Dealer inventory for the quarter was up 32 percent from last year, with 2,066 motor homes on dealer lots at the end of the quarter, Winnebago said.