Analyst upbeat following Miami Boat Show

DENVER — In an investment note following the Miami International Boat Show, RBC Capital Markets Corp. analyst Edward Aaron said the event produced some positive signs for the industry.

“We monitored traffic and sales trends at the Miami Boat Show (February 17-21) through Sunday afternoon,” Aaron wrote. “Attendance appeared up vs. last year, and while dealers were reluctant to claim victory with a day and a half of critical selling time remaining, most seemed pleased with sales activity at the show.”

Contrary to recent trends, Aaron said sales at the show seemed somewhat skewed toward bigger boats. He also said dealers generally believe the financing environment is gradually improving and that the absorption of used inventory will help new boat sales this year.

Specifically looking at Brunswick, Aaron said the brand’s products were collectively tracking toward about a 20 percent increase in overall unit sales at the show — with dollar growth likely in excess of that thanks to a couple of big yacht sales.

“We view these reads as a positive sign heading into the selling season, but don’t get too carried away,” Aaron wrote. “It’s important to keep in perspective that boat shows historically have spotty predictive value and that this year’s show faced an easy comparison due in part to bad weather a year ago. While Brunswick and its No. 1 customer, MarineMax, were likely pleased with the outcome of this year’s Miami show, we suspect that both had higher sales growth expectations for the show than for the selling season ahead.”

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