What happened

Shares of RV powerhouse Winnebago Industries (NYSE:WGO) jumped after reporting a big fiscal Q1 2020 earnings beat this morning, and were up 10% as of 12:10 p.m. EST.

Analysts had expected Winnebago to report $0.57 per share in pro forma earnings and sales of $538.9 million for its first fiscal quarter 2020, but the company beat those predictions with a stick. In fact, pro forma earnings came in 28% ahead of expectations at $0.73 per share, and sales were nearly $50 million more than expected at $588.5 million.

Winnebago RV driving through a valley

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The news wasn't all good. Actual GAAP figures were more muted -- $0.44 per share in earnings, and therefore down 37% in comparison to last year's fiscal Q1. Winnebago explained the discrepancy primarily by pointing to "the impact of ... purchase accounting" and transaction costs associated with its recent purchase of premium RV manufacturer Newmar two months ago.

That being said, even without Newmar, organic sales grew 12% year over year. (And with Newmar, sales were up 19%). Additionally, free cash flow exploded higher -- up 75% year over year to $72.4 million, and thus well ahead of reported net income (which was just $14.1 million).

Now what

Winnebago did not provide guidance for what investors should expect next. But CEO Michael Happe said the company's results are "strong," and noted that Winnebago's "RV retail market share is now 10.8% ... up 1.7 share points over the prior-year period and exceeding our 2020 goal of 10%."

With analysts forecasting earnings of only $0.67 per share next quarter (a penny less than what the company earned a year ago), I'd say the chances for a second earnings beat in Q2 are looking pretty good.

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