What happened

Shareholders of Thor Industries (NYSE:THO), one of the world's largest recreational-vehicle (RV) manufacturers, were rewarded as the company's stock soared 80% in 2016 after improved top- and bottom-line results and a major acquisition.

A Jayco trailer

Image source: Thor.

So what

There were a couple of driving factors behind Thor's strong year. During the summer, Thor announced it would be acquiring Jayco Corp. for roughly $576 million, a transaction that brought in a portfolio of complementary products such as travel trailers, folding camping trailers, and high-end diesel Class A motorhomes. The acquisition will certainly move the needle for Thor's top and bottom lines, as you can see below.

Jayco will add $1.4 billion revenue to Thor's top line.

Image source: Thor Industries' Jayco acquisition presentation from July 1, 2016. *As of calendar year 2015 for Jayco. **As of fiscal year 2015 for Thor, continuing operations. 

The other major driving force behind Thor's stock-price increase was record business results. Thor posted record sales and bottom-line results in both of its most recent quarters.

During fiscal 2017's first quarter, Thor's top line checked in at $1.71 billion, which was far ahead of analysts' estimates, which called for $1.5 billion. The story was the same for its earnings per share, which checked in at $1.49 per share, far higher than analysts' estimates of $1.23 per share.

Now what

"Fiscal 2017 began like fiscal 2016 ended, with continued robust performance throughout the Company. The strong revenue and earnings growth reflects the ongoing enthusiastic reception of our product offerings by dealers and consumers alike, as well as our ability to effectively manage our growth and integrate acquisitions successfully," said Thor President and CEO Bob Martin in the earnings press release.

Investors should expect another strong year for the RV manufacturer considering its new products from the acquisition as well as today's conditions of cheap gas and an improving economy.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.