UPDATE 2-MarineMax posts wider-than-expected loss, shares tank

Thu May 7, 2009 1:35pm EDT

* Q2 adj loss/shr of $0.50 vs est loss of $0.43

* Q2 revenue down about 44 pct

* Same-store sales down about 41 pct

* Gross profit falls 64 pct

* Shares fall 38 pct

(Recasts; adds analysts' estimates, comments, conference call details, share movement)

By Renju Jose

BANGALORE, May 7 (Reuters) - Boat retailer MarineMax Inc (HZO.N) posted a wider-than-expected second-quarter loss on inventory writedowns and a revenue drop that squeezed gross profits, sending its shares down 38 percent.

"We experienced softness across all of our markets and segments that we participate," finance chief Michael McLamb said on a conference call with analysts.

The company, whose core markets include Florida and California, has been badly hit by the U.S. housing downturn, worsened by the weak retail environment.

MarineMax, which sells new and used recreational boats and provides yacht brokerage services, said it will continue to look to cut costs out of its business including potential store closings.

"When you think about their topline, which is half of what it is used to be, there are still a fair amount of store closings that needs to be done to get back to profitability," Rochdale Securities analyst Hayley Wolff told Reuters by phone.

The business is stable from a balance sheet perspective but the market seems to be worried as "there are still no signs of any recovery in the marine industry," Wolff said.

POSTS WIDER LOSS

For the second quarter ended March 31, MarineMax posted a loss of $20.3 million, or $1.09 a share -- almost six times wider than its year-ago loss of $3.5 million, or 19 cents a share.

Excluding items, it posted a loss of 50 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates. Analysts were looking for a loss of 43 cents a share on revenue of $129.2 million.

The company, whose premium brands include Sea Ray, Boston Whaler, Meridian, Cabo and Bertram, saw net sales fall 44 percent to $129.6 million.

During the quarter, the company increased its inventory reserves for expected losses associated with brands that it no longer represents, which reduced gross profit by $4.1 million, or $0.22 per share.

Gross profit fell to $19.7 million, from $54.5 million.

Same-store sales, a key parameter of measuring retail health, fell about 41 percent in the quarter.

Selling, general and administrative expenses fell 35.3 percent to $36.4 million helped by jobcuts, reduction in sales commissions and marketing.

Shares of the Clearwater, Florida-based retailer were trading down $1.66 at $3.95 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. It touched a low of $3.48 earlier in the day. (Additional reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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