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Why Shares of Camping World Holdings Are Down Today

By Lou Whiteman - Mar 11, 2020 at 1:02PM

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Will consumers buy RVs in a recession?

What happened

Shares of Camping World Holdings (CWH 3.17%) traded down 13% on Wednesday and are now down 34% over the past five trading days, despite no company-specific news. In theory, the COVID-19 coronavirus-related travel plunge could be good for business, encouraging consumers to avoid planes and hotels and go camping instead. But investors appear worried that consumers are in no mood to buy.

So what

Camping World shares have struggled since the company's 2016 IPO, losing more than 64% of their value in the years since. 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 driving down a desert road.

Image source: Getty Images.

The company has been attempting to revamp its operations and unwind the Gander deal, but as part of that process, it has reported quarterly losses due to heavy discounting and liquidation of inventories.

Camping World has a long road ahead as it plots a recovery, and that challenge only gets more daunting if the U.S. economy falls into a recession and consumer spending is pinched.

Now what

Camping World did offer some reasons for optimism in the company's Feb. 27 earnings report. Active customers increased by 1.3%, and the number of members enrolled in its Good Sam roadside assistance program increased 1.4%.

It's too soon to say if coronavirus-related concerns will stem that momentum. But given Camping World's challenged recent history, investors can't be blamed for not wanting to hang around to find out.

Lou Whiteman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Camping World Holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Camping World Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
Camping World Holdings, Inc.
CWH
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