Lately, nobody's been home at manufactured-house and recreational-vehicle maker Fleetwood Enterprises (NYSE:FLE), and a long-awaited turnaround continues to elude the company. Certain investors have given up hope, while others are circling the wagons. Thursday's first-quarter results will shed light on who's right, and whether Fleetwood will finally drive its way toward sales and earnings gains.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or waffle? Six analysts currently follow Fleetwood. Two are bullish on the stock, three are on the fence with hold ratings, and one is bearish. The Motley Fool CAPS community currently gives the company a lowly one-star rating (out of five).
  • Earnings. Analysts expect negative quarterly earnings of $0.10, vs. a loss of $0.25 reported last year.

What management says:
Back on Aug. 2, Fleetwood announced that preliminary first-quarter sales fell 3% to $512 million, as RV sales fell by the same amount and manufactured-home sales decreased a more modest 1%. Management mentioned that RV sales benefited from several new diesel models, and it was "encouraged by the relatively small decline" in manufactured home sales. The company also said it should "report near-breakeven operating results (before interest and taxes)" for the first quarter.

What management does:
Fleetwood has been hit by adverse industry developments in both of its key operating units. Manufactured-home trends have rolled downhill for about a decade now, while RV developments have been equally unkind, because of high interest rates and fuel prices. That's made turning a profit about as easy as reaching your final destination during rush hour in Los Angeles, and most investors have since thrown in the towel on the stock.





























All data courtesy of Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Data reflects trailing-12-month performance for the quarters ended in the named months.

One Fool says:
Other shareholders are actively advocating for change at Fleetwood -- SLS Management recently suggested a sale of the company to manufactured-housing rival Champion Enterprises (NYSE:CHB) as efforts to turnaround its operations have failed to pan out.

M&A mutterings are benefiting the shares of Fleetwood and Champion year to date, while rivals such as Palm Harbor Homes (NASDAQ:PHHM), Coachmen Industries (NYSE:COA), Thor Industries (NYSE:THO), and Winnebago Industries (NYSE:WGO) remain submerged in negative territory. Manufactured homebuilders have yet to overcome the easy credit and oversupply conditions of the late '90s, and until gas prices ease, RV-land will likely continue to spin its wheels, too.

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Fool contributor Ryan Fuhrmann has no financial interest in any company mentioned. Feel free to email him with feedback or to discuss any companies mentioned further. The Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.