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Thor Industries 3Q profit beats expectations

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) -- Thor Industries Inc.'s reported Thursday that its fiscal third-quarter profit increased 6 percent to beat market expectations on stronger sales of RVs and a lower tax rate.

Thor Industries earned $43.8 million, or 82 cents per share, for the quarter that ended April 30. That is compared with $41.3 million, or 78 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Excluding impairment charges tied to the sale of its ambulance product line, it earned 97 cents in the most recent quarter.

That well exceeded analyst expectations 88 cents per share for the period, according to a poll by FactSet.

Thor Industries' total revenue increased 13 percent to $1.05 billion from $926.5 million on strong recreational vehicle sales. Analysts had forecast revenue of $1.05 billion, on average.

Its total RV sales increased 15 percent to $929.8 million, while bus segment sales were nearly flat at $119.4 million.

Thor President and Operating Chief Bob Martin said that markets remain competitive but the company is in the middle of the peak RV selling season when demand improves and discounting tends to stabilize, which he said leaves the company in a strong position to finish up the year.

Shares of the Elkart, Ind., company added 13 cents to close regular trading at $41.24.