The market for recreational vehicles has been extremely strong in recent years, and LCI Industries (NYSE:LCII) has sought to capitalize on the industry's growth by producing a rising share of components for original equipment manufacturers in the RV space. A demographic shift in demand for RVs has spurred long-term optimism in the business, as younger customers are coming into the market aggressively.
Coming into Thursday's first-quarter financial report, LCI investors were confident that the company would continue to see favorable conditions going forward. LCI's results exceeded expectations, and the RV component maker believes that the good times could last quite a while. Let's take a closer look at LCI Industries and what its results say about the company's future.
LCI Industries hits the gas
LCI Industries' first-quarter results kept up a solid pace, reflecting the favorable conditions in the RV industry. Revenue climbed 18% to $498 million, which was better than the 16% growth rate that most investors were expecting to see. Net income rose by a fifth to $43.1 million, and that produced earnings of $1.71 per share, $0.05 better than the consensus forecast among those following the stock.
Taking a closer look at the report, LCI once again benefited throughout the various parts of its operations. Original equipment manufacturing revenue matched the company's overall 18% growth rate, as growth in demand for motorhome RVs again outpaced LCI's bread-and-butter travel trailer and fifth-wheel sales. Sales into adjacent industries also climbed, posting a 17% growth rate over last year's first quarter results. Overall, acquisitions were responsible for $17 million of LCI's sales, but organic top-line growth was still a respectable 14%. Operating profit rose a more modest 7% for the segment.
LCI also saw good revenue performance in its aftermarket business, although profits came under pressure. Sales growth came in above 20%, but operating profit fell 7%.
Fundamentally, LCI continued to be an increasingly important supplier to the industry. Currently, LCI components and products that go into the typical travel trailer or fifth-wheel RV have a value of $3,058, and that number is up $80 since March 2016. The corresponding figure for motorhomes is $2,022, up from $1,858 a year ago. New product introductions, acquisitions, and changes in RV sales mixes industrywide all played a role in those gains.
CEO Jason Lippert explained the industry's impact on LCI's results. "Continuing the industry growth trend from 2016," Lippert said, "2017 first quarter wholesale travel trailers were up over 12%, and fifth-wheels were up over 10%." The CEO continued to see enthusiastic younger customers coming into the RV market.
What's ahead for LCI Industries?
An early look at the current quarter suggests favorable trends are continuing. LCI said that April sales were up 15% from year-ago levels, and in Lippert's words, "The industry prepares to meet the anticipated demand of the 2017 spring and summer selling seasons." That should benefit LCI going forward.
Yet LCI is also taking steps to make sure that its business isn't solely focused on profit. The company has made a commitment to give back to its communities by providing a total of 100,000 hours of volunteer efforts. The move has gotten a positive response from LCI workers, and the benefits from improved reputation in the community could go a long way toward helping the RV component manufacturer in the future.
LCI Industries investors didn't immediately react to the report, and the stock didn't make any moves in pre-market trading following the announcement. However, if the recreational vehicle industry's favorable market environment persists, then LCI will continue to have a huge opportunity to boost its fundamental financial strength and become an even more important winner from RV success in the future.