Winnebago’s Stock Soars With Increased RV Demand

BY STEVE DINNEN

In the stock market rout of February and March, few public companies fell as hard as Winnebago Industries Inc. Thankfully, there has been a rebound, with even fewer companies bouncing back as sharply as the Forest City, Iowa-based maker of recreational vehicles. Credit lies largely with Americans who have decided they want to get out of the house and travel during the pandemic, yet sort of stay in a house, or at least something they can spray with Lysol at their leisure.

On Feb. 12 when the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its 2020 high, Winnebago was riding pretty high as well–$60.84 to be exact. But then the market began a spectacularly steep decline, and by March 23, the Dow was off 31 percent. Winnebago easily topped that, falling 72 percent before closing the day a shade higher, at $21.86.

The RV makers are tied to the overall ups and downs of the economy, so you might think Winnebago would still be reeling, given the record second quarter fall in GDP. Not so. It just closed at $60.41, or 356 percent higher than the $16.94 it sank to back in March.

RV makers can’t get enough inventory to meet current demand. When they do, it could mean even fatter days ahead for Winnebago. “Prices won’t be the same,” said Ed Garner, owner of Autorama RV Center in Des Moines, predicting a 15 to18 percent bump.

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