By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Camping World’s CEO, Marcus Lemonis, fashions himself as a businessman, television personality, philanthropist and politician. In his television personality, he steered the reality TV show The Profit, wherein he advises struggling business owners on how to make good. The promotional photos show Lemonis sitting on a throne of paper money. It’s not clear if the show’s title is a play on words wherein Lemonis might be suggesting he’s some kind of prophet, but for Camping World Holdings, he may need to rename himself The Loss.
Last Wednesday was a day of reckoning for stockholders, as the company released its second quarter financials. How did it go? Here’s the take from investment advisor blog, The Motley Fool: “Camping World investors were prepared to deal with flat sales and falling earnings. Yet even though the retailer managed to produce modest revenue growth, weaker earnings due to industry headwinds showed just how vulnerable Camping World could be if the RV market doesn’t bounce back quickly.”
Lemonis’ RV jewel box took a pillaging with the company reporting a net income down 27 percent compared to a year ago. Stock market “prophets” had suggested company share earnings would be 66 cents per share – but investors got a far less 46 cents. Revenues didn’t hit the skids nearly as badly, but were still down a little more than 2 percent from a year ago.
Where did the money go? Camping World’s new RV sales were down more than 6 percent, and the big 18 percent jump in used RVs sales was burned up just trying to keep the total number of RV sales relatively stable. While customers weren’t as interested in buying new low-dollar (average $33,000) RVs, they were still spending money on the Good Sam plans and services, up 6 percent. Motley Fool points out that while 6 percent may not sound like much, it’s a big deal for Camping World, because there’s a huge markup in what the company gets out of their offers.
The next day, Thursday, Camping World’s stock took a huge hit – dropping to $8.60 a share, its lowest price ever. It recovered slightly Friday, closing at $8.91. Its 52-week high was $23.60 back in October.
The blog reports Lemonis tried to calm down uptight investors. Quoting him, “While some of the broader macro factors impacting the RV industry are outside of our control right now, we are focused on optimizing our assets and improving the RV consumer experience.” Broader macro factors weren’t apparently of interest to investors, as the company stock submarined 9 percent after the announcement was made. Is Camping World stock a “dog”? Apparently, sagging sales don’t make for wagging tails.