Arctic Cat Inc., Thief River Falls, Minn., reported earnings of $5.8 million, or 28 cents a share, for its fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31, 2004. This was down from last year's profits of $9.7 million, or 46 cents a share.
Sales for the period fell to $188.9 million from $194.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Arctic said the quarter's results reflect anticipated lower snowmobile sales and a less favorable Japanese foreign currency conversion.
Year-to-date, net sales grew four percent to $532.1 million compared to $509.5 million in the year-ago period. Net earnings totaled $25.6 million, or $1.22 per diluted share, off from $31.4 million, or $1.44 per diluted share, in the nine-month period last year.
Sales of ATVs in the third quarter grew to $84.1 million, up from $67.1 million in the same period last year. The company's year-to-date ATV sales rose to $223.9 million compared to $190.2 million last year. The company is currently taking orders for the 650 H1 ATV model and expects to begin shipping this product in the fourth quarter ending March 31, 2005.
"ATV sales continue to be our primary growth driver and we are successfully increasing our share of this market," said Christopher A. Twomey, Arctic Cat's chairman and chief executive officer.
Unseasonably warm weather through mid-December resulted in poor snow conditions in the East and Midwest, slowing industry wide retail snowmobile sales during the quarter.
Continuing a planned reduction in its fiscal 2005 snowmobile production after several seasons of poor snow conditions, Arctic Cat's snowmobile sales declined in the third quarter to $78.9 million versus $100.9 million in the prior-year quarter. Year-to-date snowmobile sales are on plan, totaling $241.6 million compared to $253.3 million during the same period last year, the company said.
Arctic's parts, garments and accessories (PG&A) sales were $25.8 million versus $26.6 million in the prior-year third quarter. Year-to-date PG&A sales grew to $66.7 million compared to $66.0 million in the year-ago period.
The Minnesota-based manufacturer repurchased 190,000 shares of its common stock in the fiscal third quarter and has approximately $11.6 million remaining on its current share repurchase authorization. At the end of the third quarter ended December 31, 2004, the company reported $84.2 million in cash and no long-term debt.
Officials at Arctic say they expect net sales for the fourth quarter ending March 31, 2005, to range between $155 million and $168 million, compared to $140.2 million for the same period last year. Net earnings for the quarter are estimated to be between $0.24 and $0.29 per diluted share versus a net loss of $0.05 per diluted share in the prior-year period.
Arctic anticipates net sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2005, will grow five percent to eight percent and be in the range of $687 million to $700 million. Full-year diluted earnings per share are estimated to grow four percent to eight percent and be in the range of $1.46 to $1.51.
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