UTVs Help Drive Strong Earnings At Polaris

Polaris reported strong first quarter earnings for 2012 with record sales of $673.8 million.  Key sales drivers were Ranger and RZR UTVs and Victory motorcycles across global markets.  Some key takeaways from the earnings call:

  • First quarter net income increased 27% to $60.1 million
  • Earnings per share increased 27% from the prior year period to $0.85
  •  32% improvement on operating profit
  • Management expects sales and earnings for 2012 to surpass previous guidance with full year sales guidance to up 13% over 2011 and full year earnings per share are now projected to be $3.85 to $4.00 per share, an increase of 20% to 25% over 2011.
  • Off-road Vehicle business revenue grew 30% in the first quarter.  This includes side-by-sides and ATVs.
  • Polaris gained market share in both ATVs and side-by-sides.
  • Side-by-side retail sales grew at over 30% in North America for Polaris compared to low teens for the overall market with strong performance across all segments
  • Bobcat has reported dealer retail sales increases of upper single-digits in the first quarter
  • Expect a new Bobcat product  in the coming months for both Polaris and Bobcat channels. “This should be a significant capability change from products we’ve offered traditionally.”
  • Management believes they can leverage their strengths in distribution, product cost and product innovation to drive growth in their GEM and Goupil acquisitions. They see the global small electric vehicle market as a growth area and note “… certainly we think we’re not done building out that portfolio.”
  • In Europe under tough conditions Polaris outpaced the overall market with particular strength in France.  Northern Europe is more of a work vehicle/Ranger market while Southern Europe sees more recreational vehicle/RZR sales.

For earnings call transcript:  Seekingalpha.com

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