Shares of Camping World Holdings (CWH 6.68%), Winnebago Industries (WGO 3.55%), and Thor Industries (THO 3.21%), various manufacturers and retailers within the recreational vehicle industry, all jumped at least 9% higher Monday after a couple of positive developments sent markets higher.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell boosted investor confidence when he commented on CBS's 60 Minutes that, "There's a lot more we can do," and that the Fed had plenty more ammunition if needed. Powell did note that while financial data during the second quarter will be very rough, he expects the economy to "recover steadily through the second half of this year." While Powell has said similar things previously, it's reassuring for investors to hear that the Fed is ready and able to continue aiding a potential economic recovery.
Another positive development was from biotechnology company Moderna. The company announced that its experimental vaccine, mRNA-1273, produced antibodies that could "neutralize" the coronavirus in patients and was doing well in a small, early-stage clinical trial. The vaccine is now on the "fast track" for a speedy regulatory review, and late-stage trials could start as soon as July.
These three camping-related stocks have performed quite well compared to the S&P 500 and other hard-hit industries. Further, some analysts expect that the camping industry could thrive in a post-COVID-19 economy, where consumers won't quickly return to normal in terms of vacations and travel.
"People are more likely to do these things than get on an airplane and fly to Europe for their summer vacation," said Hodges Capital Management's Eric Marshall, according to MarketWatch. "The millennials were already into outdoor activities like camping and outdoor cooking." It's very likely that people will be more reluctant to return to crowded experiences such as sporting events and/or concerts for some time, and that notion is backed up by Camping World's CFO, Mel Flanigan, noting that the first weekend in May "was the biggest weekend in our company's history, period." Winnebago and Thor have both partially resumed operations, and Michael Happe, Winnebago CEO, said the company is cautiously optimistic about the outdoor industry.
While the broader markets continue to pop and drop on news surrounding COVID-19 and its economic impacts, investors would be wise to take the volatility with a grain of salt. What becomes more important than ever is that investors understand the companies they own and dig deeper into understanding their long-term growth stories as well as their near-term liquidity and ability to weather the COVID-19 storm. That said, Camping World, Thor Industries and Winnebago seem to be better positioned to thrive in a post-COVID-19 world than most companies.