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Why Shares of Camping World Are Falling Today

By Lou Whiteman - Mar 5, 2020 at 3:30PM

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In a down market, investors are not willing to give the benefit of the doubt to a company that has disappointed in the past.

What happened

Shares of Camping World Holdings (CWH -2.50%) were down more than 13% on Thursday afternoon, significantly worse than the S&P 500's 3.4% fall, despite no apparent company-specific news. In a risk-off environment investors appear unwilling to hold onto shares of a retailer that has disappointed repeatedly in recent years, including a recent earnings report.

So what

Camping World shareholders have endured a rocky ride since the company's 2016 IPO, with the shares off nearly 50% since then. The camping and recreational vehicle retailer has been plagued by an industrywide slowdown in RV sales, coupled with company-specific issues including its ill-fated decision to buy the Gander Outdoors brand.

An RV parked in front of a nature setting.

Image source: Getty Images.

The company has been attempting to unwind missteps including the Gander deal, but on Feb. 27 reported an adjusted loss of $0.35 per share on revenue of $964.9 million, missing earnings by $0.10 per share and revenue by $45 million.

Some of that miss was due to heavy discounting and liquidation of products and accessories related to Camping World's September decision to shrink the business in areas that are underperforming. And there was some good news in the quarter, as the number of active customers increased by 1.3% and the number of members of its Good Sam Club roadside assistance program increased 1.4%.

Still, the stock is off more than 20% since the earnings announcement.

Now what

In theory, Camping World could be the rare company that has the potential to benefit from the COVID-19 coronavirus scare. If vacationers decide to avoid crowded places like airports and resorts in favor of road trips and spending time outdoors, that could be bullish for RV sales.

Alas, Camping World, based on its recent history, has become a stock that does not get the benefit of the doubt. Investors are going to want to see some signs that a turnaround is in place before they climb aboard.

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Stocks Mentioned

Camping World Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
Camping World Holdings, Inc.
CWH
$21.06 (-2.50%) $0.54

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