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Analyst: Slow February for powerboats

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By Christopher Gerber
April 2, 2013
Filed under Features, Top Stories

The main powerboat segments suffered a drop in sales of 9.5 percent in February year-over-year, according to data from Statistical Surveys provided by RBC Capital Markets Analyst Edward Aaron. But the February data doesn’t have Aaron concerned about outlook for 2013.

But the drop in February, tempered against the warm February weather in 2012, isn’t being weighted too heavily, Aaron said, awaiting data from the Spring 2013 dealer survey.

“We tend to discount any data points outside of the April through July time period, so from our perspective, the selling season begins right about now. We will provide additional color on market trends next month when we publish our Spring 2013 marine dealer survey.”

Data in the note, along with data from March’s Info-Link Bellwether Report, showed sales for the month slowing. February year-over-year sales for the main powerboat segments were down 9.5 percent, year-over-year, according to Statistical Surveys. Pontoon fought the trend and managed 10.6 percent year-over-year growth during February, but the aluminum fishing and fiberglass outboard segments dropped 19 percent and 1.8 percent respectively. Sterndrive sales continued to suffer.

“The sterndrive/inboard market shows little signs of life, with sales declining 28 percent in the month of February, including a 34 percent drop in cruiser sales,” Aaron said.

“We view SSI data as a viable directional indicator of trends, but one that must be viewed with a grain of salt, especially when evaluating a single month,” Aaron said in the note. ”…Moreover, the data for a seasonally smaller month like February tend to be heavily influenced by weather. To this point, it’s worth noting that last year’s February sales report was especially strong (+30 percent y/y).”

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