Strong sales of off-road vehicles and Victory motorcycles continued to help Polaris Industries Inc. buck the industrywide downturn in recreational vehicle sales, boosting the Medina-based company's sales 25 percent and earnings 47 percent in the second quarter.
Polaris’ Ranger 400 side-by-side ATV for the 2010 model year. Dealers have said they can’t get enough of some models, according to one analyst.
The maker of motorized outdoor vehicles plans to ramp up production of its new bestsellers: side-by-side all-terrain vehicles, which allow a passenger to sit next to the driver. Dealers report they can't get enough of some models, according to one analyst.
Polaris also significantly raised the full-year forecast it put out last quarter even though it said it remains somewhat skeptical over the prospect of a broad economic recovery this year. "We have consistently said that we are committed to making growth happen no matter what is occurring in the external environment," said CEO Scott Wine.
Results, which topped estimates, helped send the stock as high as $63.36 a share before closing at $60.25, up more than 5 percent for the day. Volume, which recently has been below 1 million shares, was more than 2.3 million shares Tuesday. A year ago Polaris' stock was trading at around $35 a share.
Revenue for the quarter ended June 30 totaled $430.9 million, while earnings were $25.6 million, or 75 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had projected earnings-per-share of 68 cents on sales of $404.7 million.
Strong side-by-side vehicle sales helped offset a decline in core all-terrain vehicle sales. Revenue for the business unit increased 31 percent in the quarter. Company officials credited new products and a program that allows shorter ordering cycles for dealers and enables Polaris to respond more quickly to changing market trends.
"The [ATV] market isn't great, but Polaris is going out and grabbing market share," said Bob Evans, an analyst at Craig-Hallum Capital Group in Minneapolis. He said some dealers have told him they are on waiting lists for some side-by-side models. In a conference call Tuesday the company said it has ramped up production to meet increased demand.
The on-road division, which consists of Victory motorcycles, posted a 48 percent revenue gain. Retail sales were 10 percent higher in the quarter, outpacing gains for the motorcycle market as a whole. Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Tuesday reported a 5.5 percent drop in retail sales of its motorcycles in the second quarter.
Polaris' snowmobile business, its smallest segment, fell 73 percent in the quarter. The company said the large decline was due mainly to the timing of shipments in the second quarter this year compared with the same quarter in 2009.
The company raised its guidance for the third quarter and the full year. It now expects earnings-per-share of $3.80 to $3.90 for 2010, up from its estimate of $3.48 to $3.60 earlier in the year. Last year it earned $3.05 per share. Revenue should increase 17 percent to 20 percent over the $1.57 billion reported in 2009, up from earlier estimates of an 8 percent to 11 percent gain.
In May, Polaris announced plans to sell or close its Osceola, Wis., plant by 2012 and open a new facility in Mexico. The changes are expected to cost more than $43 million, including $8 million to $10 million this year. The company said it expects to save $30 million a year when the transition is complete.