UPDATE 2-Spartan Motors Q2 results lag Street; shrs hit year-low

jueves 24 de julio de 2008 21:15 CEST

(Adds analysts' comments, updates share movement)

By Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay

BANGALORE, July 24 (Reuters) - Automotive chassis maker Spartan Motors Inc (SPAR.O: Cotización) posted lower-than-expected second-quarter results, hurt by a weaker motorhome chassis market, sending its shares down to a 52-week low.

Spartan's chassis sales to the Class A diesel motorhome market fell 50 percent year-over-year in the quarter.

Shipments of Class A motorhomes have continued to weaken in 2008, falling 39 percent through May from a year ago, as the U.S. economic downturn and mounting gasoline prices have eroded consumer confidence and kept buyers out of showrooms.

The recreational vehicles market may remain weak next year, which may be a drag on Spartan's results, analyst Walter Liptak of Barrington Research said by phone.

Spartan's backlog for recreational vehicle chassis fell 47.3 percent to $12.5 million as of June 30.

"The outlook for motorhome chassis is challenging, though the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association is predicting the industry will reach its bottom for shipments in 2008 or early 2009," CEO John Sztykiel said in a statement.

For the second quarter, Spartan's net income was $10.4 million, or 32 cents a share, compared with $6.5 million, or 20 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.   Continuación...