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Polaris lowers 2016 guidance

Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE:PII) provided an update to its full-year guidance on Sept. 12. The company now expects full-year 2016 earnings to be in the range of $3.30 to $3.80 per diluted share, $2.50 to $2.70 per diluted share lower than previously expected of which approximately two-thirds is expected to be incurred in the third quarter. Polaris also expects total company sales for the full-year 2016 to be down in the mid- to high-single digit percent range compared to previously issued guidance of flat to down 2 percent.

Since Polaris last updated its full year guidance and hosted its investor day in July, the company has experienced additional RZR thermal-related issues and was unable to sufficiently validate the initially identified RZR Turbo recall repair, necessitating a more complex and expensive repair solution. As a result, the voluntary stop ride/stop sale notification issued on July 25 remained in place significantly longer than originally anticipated, delaying any sales of the highly-requested RZR Turbo vehicle. Also, given the additional RZR thermal issues, the company revalidated many of its recently introduced model year 2017 ORV products, causing a delay in shipments of those vehicles. The company believes its model year 2017 products and the more aggressive programs it has planned for the second half of 2016 will have a positive impact on off-road vehicle sales. However, given the delayed model year 2017 shipments and additional recall activity, the expected positive impact will be deferred later than the company had originally estimated.

The earnings revision of $2.50 to $2.70 per diluted share can be summarized as follows: Approximately half is related to the margin impact from delayed model year 2017 shipments, including the high-margin RZR Turbo vehicles, as the company revalidated its new model lineup and protects dealer inventory levels, along with correspondingly lower sales of the company’s high-margin parts, garments and accessories business; and about 25 percent is the result of higher promotional and customer appreciation costs to rebuild confidence and credibility with RZR owners. The remaining 25 percent is primarily related to expediting the product recall repairs, including the recently announced RZR Turbo recall, which, when combined with the one-time warranty, legal and acquisition related costs recorded in the first half of 2016, totals approximately $120 million, or about $1.20 per diluted share of costs that should be considered non-recurring in 2017.

“Our number one priority is to get our loyal owners back to riding safely,” stated Scott Wine, Polaris’ chairman and chief executive officer. “We share the frustration of our customers and dealers, and we are working diligently to expedite the completion of the recall repairs and significantly improve the quality and safety of our products. We are providing increased support to our dealers and RZR owners, so they can complete the necessary repairs with minimal disruption. We have engaged outside engineering experts to help accelerate the remediation process, we are sending additional repair technicians into the field to assist our dealers, and we have created a new independent safety and quality function reporting directly to me.”


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