Polaris Reports Strong Quarterly Earnings For Q2 2015

Beauty shot of the new Sportsman ACE from Polaris.

The Sportsman ACE from helped drive Polaris ORV sales in the 2nd quarter.

Last week Polaris reported record 2nd quarter sales of $1.124 billion. While the company missed Wall Street expectations, they continued to experience growth across product categories including ORVs and small vehicles. The main problems for the quarter stemmed from very high demand for their motorcycles and issues with a new paint system exacerbated by the greater than expected demand. The following is a summary of  key points related to ORVs and small vehicles.

  • The new Huntsville plant is on budget and on time for a Q2 2016 start
  • ORV revenue (UTVs and ATVs) increased 2% in the quarter driven by strong RZR sales globally but offset by reduced shipments to dealers to lower inventory levels
  • Year to date ORV revenue is up 6%
  • Management reports gaining North American market share in side-by-sides and ATVs
  • Side-by-side retail sales increased high single digits which slightly outpaced the industry
  • Full-size Rangers and the ACE showed strength while there was some weakness in value and entry offerings
  • Sales promotion pressures were strong in the 2nd quarter
  • Management reports continued strong competition in the ORV market with ongoing product innovations from competing brands.
  • Global Adjacent markets decreased 3% in the 2nd quarter but are up 2% year-to-date and up high single digits in constant currency measurement
  • North American work and transportation revenue grew high teens percent driven by expansion and success in direct national account business and the Ariens partnership but there was weakness in the BRUTUS Channel caused by distribution, transition and erosion.
  • GEM revenue increased driven by double-digit retail growth
  • European work and transportation decreased high teens percent due primarily to currency weakness and some softness in the European quadricycle industry, which  is flat year-to-date.
  • Second quarter defense sales increased low single digits primarily due to timing of orders but the outlook remains strong with increasing DAGOR and RZR and international demand.
  • In international sales Latin America and Asia Pacific sales were strong while EMEA revenue suffered from currency issues and a weak Russian market.
  • Polaris launched their multi-purpose vehicle the Multix in India. The partnership with Eicher will start with 30 dealers and build to 200 by 2020.
  • Revenue guidance for the year is narrowed but essentially unchanged.

Learn more:  Seekingalpha.com (earnings call transcript)

Comment:  While the the UTV market may not be growing as fast as previous years, it is still showing signs of strong growth and is outpacing the economy in general. This is despite weaknesses in oil and agriculture driven markets. Competition continues to remain at a high level as exhibited by elevated promotion levels, numerous product introductions and continued product innovation.

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