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Is Camping World Stock a Buy?

By Rick Munarriz - Apr 19, 2021 at 9:20AM

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The leading RV retailer is rolling these days. Let's see what will keep the shares driving in the right direction.

One of the biggest winners since equity markets bottomed out following the initial pandemic sell-off 13 months is Camping World Holdings (NYSE: CWH). The leading retailer of motorhomes and recreational vehicle towables is a 12-bagger since its low in March of last year, and it's easy to see why Wall Street is warming up to the Marcus Lemonis-helmed company.

The RV industry has been experiencing a boom since May of last year as the country realized that the pandemic was going to have a disruptive impact on traditional travel options. With international travel restrictions still in place, having a home on wheels seems like a safer and to some more enjoyable way to get around then dealing with crowded planes, trains, and hotels. 

Camping World is hot, but is it overheating? Let's take a closer look at the stock to see if it's still worth buying right now.

A woman looking at mountains from the window of her RV.

Image source: Getty Images.

Rolling along

Camping World has made the most of its dominant position in a highly fragmented market, acquiring mom-and-pop shops at a discount that it can rebrand to expand its regional footprint. Even after a strategic shift in 2019 that involved Camping World moving on from many of its non-RV retail businesses -- closing down some concepts and liquidating merchandise categories -- the company is still growing at a much headier clip than usual. The 21% and 18% year-over-year top-line growth that it has posted in its last two quarters is its headiest growth in any period since early 2018. 

The news is even more encouraging on the bottom line. Net income is growing even faster here as margins expand. Wall Street pros can't seem to keep up. Camping World's been topping analyst profit targets with ease over the past year. 

Quarter EPS (est.) EPS (actual) Surprise
Q1 2020 ($0.08) ($0.03) 63%
Q2 2020 $0.65 $1.62 149%
Q3 2020 $1.02 $1.58 55%
Q4 2020 $0.26 $0.48 85%

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

It's not just growth investors cheering Camping World's success on both ends of the income statement. Income investors are also hopping along for the ride. Camping World pays a modest quarterly distribution, but its improving fundamentals found it boosting its special quarterly dividend by 75% late last year. Its unique dual distributions now amount to $0.92 a share in payouts over the course of the year, pushing the stock's yield to a respectable 2.2% for a growth stock.

The near-term outlook is bright. The RV Industry Association sees new RV shipments climbing 23% this year. Camping World should keep gaining market share on top of that. There are some challenges. Fuel prices are inching higher, and aspiring globetrotters are starting to warm up again to more conventional travel and tourism plays. It's still hard to bet against Camping World with more tailwinds than headwinds right now.

Camping World is also cheaper than you might think for a stock that has seen its stock pop 12-fold over the past 13 months. The shares are trading for less than nine times this year's projected earnings and just a little more than 11 times its trailing profit. A mind-boggling stat here is that when the stock bottomed out at $3.40 in March of last year it would go on to earn more than that -- $3.66 a share on an adjusted basis -- in the year ahead. 

Things aren't perfect at Camping World. It's a highly leveraged company with a pretty tangled corporate structure. However, if you kick the tires on a 2.2% yield and forward earnings multiple in the single digit for a company that should grow its top line north of 20% for at least the next two years it's hard not to see Camping World as a buy right now.

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