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Road Is Rough for Winnebago

October 13, 2006|From the Associated Press

DES MOINES — Motor-home manufacturer Winnebago Industries Inc. on Thursday reported sharply lower profit for its fiscal fourth quarter, citing product liability claims and lower sales because of higher interest rates and fuel prices.

The Forest City, Iowa-based company earned $9.3 million, or 30 cents a share, for the quarter ended Aug. 26, compared with $15.4 million, or 46 cents, a year earlier. Sales decreased 11.3% to $205.4 million.

The company reported a one-time gain of 3 cents a share as it sold off motor homes to reduce inventory. It also booked a one-time charge for the quarter of 4 cents a share for increased product liability claims. Excluding special items, earnings were 31 cents a share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected earnings of 40 cents a share on sales of $228 million. Winnebago also booked a charge of 2 cents a share for stock-option expenses.

Shares of the company fell $1.08 to $33.28.

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