Winnebago announced a banner fiscal first quarter with a more than fourfold increase in earnings that easily topped analysts' estimates as consumers continue to seek the RV lifestyle.

The company, managed from Eden Prairie, earned $57.4 million for the quarter ended Nov. 28, or $1.70 per share, up from the $14.1 million, or 44 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Adjusted earnings were $1.69 per share, up 132% from the 73 cents per share in first quarter of the previous year.

Sales grew 35%, or $793.1 million. Excluding the effect of the November 2019 acquisition of luxury RV maker Nermar, Winnebago's revenue still increased 22%.

"Winnebago Industries' first quarter results underscore the strength of our unmatched portfolio of leading brands and continued demand from the end consumer for our high quality, innovative outdoor products," said Winnebago's president and chief executive, Michael Happe, in its news release.

Adjusted earnings and sales both exceeded analysts' expectations of 98 cents per share and $752.5 million in revenue.

Winnebago this month announced new corporate enterprise branding to unify its various names. The brand refresh includes a new corporate logo and tagline "Be great, outdoors."

Happe also referenced the new brand focus in the earnings release. "While proud of our iconic flagship Winnebago-brand RVs, the parent organization, Winnebago Industries, also reflects our pride in having the Grand Design, Newmar, and Chris-Craft businesses as part of our family and the aspiration that all our employees and end customers share together to 'Be Great, Outdoors.' "

Winnebago results might have been even stronger in the quarter but the recreational-vehicle industry is dealing with low inventories as people have embraced the mobile and independent RV lifestyle this year.

James Hardiman, an analyst with Wedbush, wrote in a note to investors Friday: "It would appear that Winnebago is doing a slightly better job of keeping up with demand than [chief competitor] Thor Industries, but it is still clear that current availability of production is preventing strong levels of sales from being substantially stronger."

Shares of Winnebago closed at $62.67 per share, up 5.3% on the day. Shares of Winnebago are up 20% year-to-date and have ranged between $16.94 and $72.65 per share over the last 52 weeks.

Patrick Kennedy • 612-673-7926