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Polaris North American retail sales rise 6 percent in Q1

News release

Polaris First Quarter 2016 Highlights:

  • North American retail sales increased 6% in the quarter with Indian motorcycles up over 50%.
  • Dealer inventory was down year-over-year.
  • Motorcycle sales increased 18% during the quarter. ORV/Snowmobiles and Global Adjacent Markets sales were down, in-line with expectations.
  • First quarter results included additional expenses totaling approximately $30 million related to certain product liability settlements, ORV related warranty accruals, severance costs and acquisition related costs.
  • Repurchased 1.0 million shares of Polaris common stock during the first quarter.
  • Maintaining guidance range for full year 2016 earnings of $6.20 to $6.80 per diluted share, on sales in the range of down 2% to up 3% for the full year 2016.

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE:PII) today reported first quarter net income of $46.9 million, or $0.71 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2016 compared to $88.6 million, or $1.30 per diluted share reported in the first quarter of 2015, in-line with Company expectations. Sales for the first quarter 2016 totaled $983.0 million, down five percent compared to last year’s first quarter sales of $1,033.3 million.

Indian Scout Feature

“Our first quarter results were in line with our projections, in spite of increased expenses for warranty and product liability. Our Customer Excellence initiatives and new products drove a six percent increase in North American retail, and in conjunction with shipment reductions, better demand forecasting, and process control improvements, enabled us to continue reducing dealer inventory levels year-over-year. During the quarter, we improved shipment lead-times, met retail demand from our Spirit Lake motorcycle facility, and completing the acquisition of Taylor-Dunn. I still believe 2016 is likely to be another volatile year in powersports, but we are seeing pockets of strength. The North American ORV industry was up in the first quarter, with March experiencing the strongest improvement,” commented Scott Wine, Polaris’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

“We remain focused on an all-out assault on costs and rededicating the business to drive growth, not only for this year but as part of a renewed commitment to achieving our 2020 objectives. The entire Polaris team is united, and determined, to grow sales and expand margins.”

2016 Business Outlook

While the powersports industry was slightly better than anticipated in the 2016 first quarter, the Company is keeping its guidance range unchanged for the full year 2016 with earnings expected to be in the range of $6.20 to $6.80 per diluted share with sales in the range of down two percent to up three percent over 2015 due to the persistent unpredictability around overall economic trends and more specifically powersports industry trends for the remainder of 2016.

Off-Road Vehicle (“ORV”) and Snowmobile segment sales, including their respective PG&A related sales, decreased nine percent from the first quarter of 2015 to $720.6 million. ORV vehicle sales decreased 12 percent, snowmobile vehicle sales were up two percent and ORV and snowmobile related PG&A sales, combined, increased two percent in the 2016 first quarter compared to the same period last year.

ORV wholegood sales decreased 12 percent reflecting ongoing softness in retail sales in North American oil markets and tough comparables in the first quarter of last year. Polaris North American ORV unit retail sales were flat with the 2015 first quarter, with consumer purchases of side-by-side vehicles down low single-digits percent and ATV retail sales up low-single digits percent over prior year. ORV dealer inventory was down ten percent in the 2016 first quarter compared to the same period last year. While the Company experienced modest ORV market share loss in the 2016 first quarter with ATV market share up slightly and side-by-side’s down, Polaris continues to be the clear #1 market share leader in ORV in North America.

Snowmobile wholegood sales increased two percent due to the acquisition of Timbersled in the second quarter of 2015. The Company gained market share the 2016 first quarter and for a third consecutive year for the season ending March 31, 2016.

Motorcycle segment sales, including their respective PG&A related sales, increased 18 percent in the 2016 first quarter to $188.2 million primarily due to continued strong retail sales for Indian® motorcycles.

North American consumer retail demand for the Polaris motorcycle segment, including Victory®, Indian Motorcycle® and Slingshot®, was up low-teens percent during the 2016 first quarter while the overall motorcycle industry retail sales, 900cc and above was about flat in the 2016 first quarter. During the 2016 first quarter, the Company began retailing two new additions to its Victory and Indian motorcycle line-up with the introduction of the Octane™, Victory motorcycles’ first mid-sized cruiser and the new Indian Springfield™, named after the birthplace of Indian Motorcycle. Slingshot also broadened its color options with its 2016 model introduction including the new Limited Edition White Pearl SL. Product availability for Victory, Indian Motorcycle® and Slingshot® improved considerably in the 2016 first quarter and dealer inventories are essentially at targeted stocking levels at quarter-end.

Global Adjacent Markets segment sales along with their respective PG&A related sales decreased five percent to $74.1 million in the 2016 first quarter compared to the 2015 first quarter.

Work and Transportation group wholegood sales were up low single digits percent during the first quarter of 2016 primarily due to growth in the Aixam business. Sales for the Company’s defense business were down significantly due to U.S. military budget spending patterns pushing orders into the future.

Supplemental Data:

Parts, Garments, and Accessories (“PG&A”) sales, which are included in each of the three respective reporting segments, experienced a two percent increase during the 2016 first quarter. All segments experienced higher PG&A sales during the quarter except motorcycles. Motorcycle PG&A sales were down slightly year-over-year due to higher shipments of Slingshot related PG&A in the 2015 first quarter from initial stocking orders.

International sales to customers outside of North America totaled $162.6 million for the first quarter of 2016, including PG&A, up six percent from the same period in 2015. International sales on a constant currency basis were up 12 percent in the 2016 first quarter. Europe, Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”) reported sales increased six percent in the 2016 first quarter and Asia Pacific reported sales were down seven percent while Latin American reported sales were up 29 percent. International reported sales by reportable segment in the first quarter compared to last year were as follows: ORV/Snowmobiles segment sales were down one percent, Motorcycles segment sales were up 42 percent, and Global Adjacent Markets segment sales increased two percent.

Gross profit decreased 16 percent to $247.6 million in the first quarter of 2016, compared to $293.7 million in the first quarter of 2015. As a percentage of sales, gross profit declined 324 basis points to 25.2 percent of sales for the first quarter of 2016, compared to 28.4 percent of sales for the same period last year. Negative currency movements along with increased warranty and promotional costs and negative product mix, were partially offset by lower commodity costs and cost savings from product cost reduction efforts.

Operating expenses increased 20 percent to $189.9 million or 19.3 percent of sales for the first quarter of 2016, compared to $158.1 million or 15.3 percent of sales for the first quarter of 2015. The increase in dollars and percentage of sales, was driven by increased research and development expense for ongoing product innovation, higher selling and marketing expenses to increase Polaris’ brand awareness and an increase in general and administrative expense due to higher product liability, severance and acquisition related costs incurred during the quarter. These costs were partially offset by operating cost control measures taken during the 2016 first quarter.

Income from financial services was $19.5 million during the first quarter 2016, an increase of 33 percent compared to $14.6 million in the first quarter of 2015. The increase is attributable to a higher penetration rate for retail financing programs in the 2016 first quarter.

Equity in loss of affiliates was $2.1 million for the first quarter of 2016 compared to $1.6 million last year, which represents the Company’s portion of the operating results related to the Polaris/Eicher joint venture in India.

Non-operating other expense, net, which primarily relates to foreign currency exchange rate movements and the corresponding effects on foreign currency transactions related to the Company’s foreign subsidiaries, was $0.1 million in the first quarter of 2016 compared to $7.4 million in the first quarter of 2015.

The provision for income taxes for the first quarter of 2016 was $25.3 million or 35.0 percent of pretax income compared to $49.8 million or 36.0 percent of pretax income for the first quarter of 2015. The lower income tax provision rate in the first quarter 2016 is primarily due to the extension of the research and development credit by the U.S. Congress in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Financial Position and Cash Flow

Net cash provided by operating activities was $139.0 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2016, compared to $4.2 million for the same period in 2015. The significant increase in net cash provided by operating activities for the 2016 period was due to decreased working capital. Total debt for the quarter, including capital lease obligations and notes payable, was $532.4 million. The Company’s debt-to-total capital ratio was 36 percent at March 31, 2016, compared to 27 percent a year ago. Cash and cash equivalents were $145.8 million at March 31, 2016, up from $111.0 million for the same period in 2015.

Share Buyback Activity

During the first quarter 2016, the Company repurchased and retired 1,040,000 shares of its common stock for $84.9 million. As of March 31, 2016, the Company currently has authorization from its Board of Directors to repurchase up to an additional 9.3 million shares of Polaris stock.

Non-GAAP Measure - Constant Currency Reporting

This release and our related earnings call include a discussion of the Company’s 2016 first quarter results and 2016 expectations on a constant currency basis, which is a non-GAAP measure, as well as on a GAAP basis. For purpose of comparison, the results on a constant currency basis uses the respective prior year exchange rates for the comparative period to enhance the visibility of the underlying business trends, excluding the impact of translation arising from foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.

 

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