Earnings are important, but investors should also always pay attention to sales.
Earlier this monthThor Industries ( THO ), the biggest RV maker in North America, reported record preliminary sales for its fiscal Q3 ended April 30. Revenue totaled $1.05 billion, up 13% from the same period last year.
Sales of motorized RVs jumped 48% to $187.2 million. Towable RV sales rose 9% to $742.1 million. Thor also makes buses, which saw flat sales.
"We have seen improving retail traffic and increased dealer optimism as signs of a healthy market entering the seasonally important spring and summer selling period," said Chairman & CEO Peter B. Orthwein in a press release.
The RV industry is rebounding after the effects of the Great Recession from late 2007 to 2009. During those three years, Thor's earnings tumbled 16%, 31% and 81%, respectively. Because of this, it has a five-year Earnings Stability Factor of 45, which is not good.
Its three-year Earnings Stability Factor is a much improved 13, even though profit fell 7% in fiscal 2011. Its fiscal year ends in July.
Despite going through some rough patches years ago, Thor did not cut its dividend like many other companies did. In September, Thor raised its regular quarterly dividend by 20% to 18 cents a share. That marked its third payout hike in three years.
The firm pays 72 cents a share on an annual basis, which works out to a yield of about 1.8%. It's the only dividend-paying company in the Building-Mobile/Manufacturing & RV group.
Thor is in a cup base with a potential 44.28 buy point. But it may be adding a handle, which would offer a lower entry point.