Analyst downgrades Brunswick because of soft Q1 sales

NEW YORK — Brunswick Corp.’s shares dipped Thursday after being downgraded by an analyst based on soft first quarter sales, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Raymond James analyst Joseph D. Hovorka cut his rating on the company to “Market Perform” from “Outperform,” causing shares to fall more than 3 percent before rebounding and finishing down 1.5 percent at $15.73.

Hovorka said recent checks of boat registration data in Florida and other top markets show the reversal of a yearlong strengthening trend in sales.

Numbers for December were up 0.4 percent, but the trend declined in January and February, with a 14.2 percent drop in that month alone, Hovorka noted.

However, the analyst said the company’s earnings power “remains significant” because its costs are improving. He said shares could be volatile because of timing of the company’s peak earnings.

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