“The bounce-back from the slowdown, COVID induced shutdowns has been phenomenal,” MasterCraft CEO Fred Brightbill told Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade. MasterCraft sells everything from entry-level $30,000 boats to the ultra high-end Aviara line that could fetch more than $300,000. Similar to what Yahoo Finance learned from Polaris CFO Mike Sheetzen on Tuesday (Polaris (PII) owns the Bennington, Godfrey and Hurricane boat brands), demand for socially-distant outdoor activities appears to be fueling boat purchases this summer.
Brightbill says demand in recent months have been broad-based throughout the portfolio. The company has begun bringing workers back to the production line to service the strong uptick.
“Our business started taking a downturn in March. We expected the worst, planned for that, and we are very much surprised to the upside. Business strengthened in April, strengthened continually in May, and was record-setting in June and continues into July,” adds Brightbill.
Shares of MasterCraft rose slightly Wednesday morning. The stock is up a cool 34% year-to-date, out-performing the S&P 500’s 3% gain. MasterCraft is tentatively scheduled to release its latest earnings report in September.
It may not be solely Polaris and MasterCraft seeing a tailwind in the business of boats.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) said boat sales surged 59% in May versus April, the last month for which data has been released. NMMA data showed sales had increased 9% from pre-pandemic levels in May. Sales marked the highest level in a decade, with gains noted across all boat segments.