Home » Features » Polaris North American retail sales decrease 3 percent in Q1

Polaris North American retail sales decrease 3 percent in Q1

Polaris Industries released first quarter 2019 results with sales of $1,496 million on a reported and adjusted basis, up 15 percent from $1,297 million for the first quarter of 2018, including $185 million of Boat segment sales reported in the first quarter of 2019. The company reported first quarter 2019 net income of $48 million, or $0.78 per diluted share, compared with net income of $56 million, or $0.85 per diluted share, for the 2018 first quarter. Adjusted net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2019 was $67 million, or $1.08 per diluted share compared to $74 million, or $1.13 per diluted share in the 2018 first quarter.

Gross profit increased 9 percent to $352 million for the first quarter of 2019 from $323 million in the first quarter of 2018. Reported gross profit margin was 23.6 percent of sales for the first quarter of 2019 compared to 24.9 percent of sales for the first quarter of 2018. Gross profit for the first quarter of 2019 includes the negative impact of $7 million of restructuring and realignment costs. Excluding these costs, first quarter 2019 adjusted gross profit was $359 million, or 24.0 percent of adjusted sales. For the first quarter of 2018 adjusted gross profit of $329 million, or 25.4 percent of adjusted sales, excludes the negative impact of $6 million of restructuring and realignment costs. Gross profit margins on an adjusted basis were down 140 basis points. Higher average selling prices were more than offset by tariff costs and the addition of Boats which has lower gross profit margins.

Operating expenses increased 11 percent for the first quarter of 2019 to $289 million, or 19.3 percent of sales, from $262 million, or 20.2 percent of sales, in the same period in 2018. Operating expenses in dollars increased primarily due to the Boat Holdings acquisition completed during the third quarter of 2018 and investments in strategic projects. Operating expenses as a percentage of sales, improved due to the addition of Boats, which has a lower operating expense to sales ratio.

Income from financial services was $19 million for the first quarter of 2019, down 12 percent compared with $21 million for the first quarter of 2018. The decrease is primarily attributable to lower retail sales during the quarter.

Interest expense was $20 million for the first quarter of 2019 compared to $8 million for the same period last year, primarily due to increased debt levels to finance the Boat acquisition and higher interest rates.

Equity in loss of other affiliates was $1 million for the first quarter of 2019 compared to $22 million for the same period last year. In the first quarter 2018, the Company recorded charges totaled approximately $20 million associated with the shut down of the Eicher-Polaris joint venture in India.

Other income, net, was $4 million in the first quarter of 2019 compared to $20 million in the first quarter of 2019 resulting from foreign currency exchange rate movements and the corresponding effects on foreign currency transactions related to the Company’s foreign subsidiaries. In the first quarter of 2018, in addition to the impact of foreign currency exchange rate movements, the Company reported a $13 million gain on the sale of the Company's investment in Brammo Inc.

The provision for income taxes for the first quarter of 2019 was $16 million, or 24.9 percent of pretax income, compared with $18 million, or 24.4 percent of pretax income for the first quarter of 2018.

Net income attributable to non-controlling interest of $18 thousand reported in the first quarter of 2019 relates to net income attributable to the minority owner of a joint venture between Polaris and a supplier in Vietnam to manufacturer components for the Company.

Off-Road Vehicles (“ORV”) and Snowmobiles segment sales, including PG&A, totaled $867 million for the first quarter of 2019, up four percent over $833 million for the first quarter of 2018 driven by growth in side-by-side sales. PG&A sales for ORV and Snowmobiles combined increased 12 percent in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the first quarter last year. Gross profit increased four percent to $252 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $244 million in the first quarter of 2018. Gross profit percentage declined 20 basis points during the quarter as higher average selling prices and favorable product mix were more than offset by higher tariff costs.

ORV wholegood sales for the first quarter of 2019 increased 4 percent primarily driven by increased average selling prices. Polaris North American ORV retail sales decreased mid-single digits percent for the quarter with side-by-side vehicles down low-single digits percent and ATV vehicles down low-double digits percent. The North American ORV industry was down low-single digits percent compared to the first quarter last year.

Snowmobile wholegood sales in the first quarter of 2019 were $13 million, down 28 percent compared to $18 million in the first quarter last year. Polaris snowmobile retail sales were up high-single digits percent during the first quarter of 2019 and up about 20 percent for the twelve month season ending March 2019. North American industry retail was up low-double digits percent for the first quarter and up low-single digits percent for the season ending March 2019. Polaris gained significant market share for the season.

Motorcycles segment sales, including PG&A, totaled $118 million, down 10 percent compared to the first quarter of 2018, driven largely by declines in Slingshot sales, and to less of an extent, Indian Motorcycle sales, partly due to an ongoing challenging motorcycle market. Gross profit for the first quarter of 2019 was $7 million compared to $17 million in the first quarter of 2018. The decrease in gross profit was primarily the result of lower volume and tariff costs.

North American consumer retail sales for the Polaris motorcycle segment, including both Indian Motorcycle and Slingshot, decreased high-single digits percent during the first quarter of 2019. Indian Motorcycle retail sales decreased mid-single digits percent. Slingshot's retail sales were down low-double digits percent during the quarter. Motorcycle industry retail sales, 900cc and above, were down mid-single digits percent in the first quarter of 2019.

Global Adjacent Markets segment sales, including PG&A, decreased seven percent to $105 million in the 2019 first quarter compared to $113 million in the 2018 first quarter. Reported gross profit decreased five percent to $30 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $31 million in the first quarter of 2018. Adjusted gross profit decreased 6 percent to $30 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $32 million in the first quarter of 2018 due to negative product mix.

Aftermarket segment sales of $221 million in the 2019 first quarter increased slightly compared to $220 million in the 2018 first quarter. TAP sales in the first quarter of 2019 were $197 million, which was down two percent from $201 million in the first quarter of 2018. TAP sales declined two percent due to ongoing soft wholesale sales along with lower e-commence demand while the Company's other aftermarket brands increased sales over 20 percent. Gross profit decreased to $56 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $58 million in the first quarter of 2018 due to negative product mix.

Boats segment sales, which consist of the Boat Holdings acquisition which closed July 2, 2018, were $185 million in the 2019 first quarter. Gross profit was $36 million or 19.6 percent of sales in the first quarter of 2019.

Supplemental Data:

Parts, Garments, and Accessories (“PG&A”) sales increased eight percent for the 2019 first quarter primarily driven by growth in ORV and snowmobiles.

International sales to customers outside of North America, including PG&A, totaled $203 million for the first quarter of 2019, down four percent, from the same period in 2018. Increased Indian Motorcycle and PG&A sales were more than offset by negative foreign exchange movements which reduced sales by seven percent for the quarter.

Net cash used for operating activities was $38 million for the three months ended March 31, 2019, compared to $3 million for the same period in 2018. The increase in net cash used for operating activities for the 2019 period was the result of higher factory inventory due to timing of shipments, preparation for new product launches and additional costs related to tariffs. Total debt at March 31, 2019, including finance lease obligations and notes payable, was $2,101 million. The Company’s debt-to-total capital ratio was 71 percent at March 31, 2019 compared to 51 percent at March 31, 2018. Cash and cash equivalents were $151 million at March 31, 2019, down from $166 million at March 31, 2018.

2019 Business Outlook

Given the 2019 first quarter results, the Company is increasing its full year earnings guidance and now expects adjusted net income to be in the range of $6.05 to $6.30 per diluted share, compared with adjusted net income of $6.56 per diluted share for 2018. Full year 2019 sales expectation remains unchanged at up 11 to 13 percent. The full year earnings guidance is inclusive of the Company's expectations related to the negative impact of external factors such as the annualized impact of tariffs, adverse foreign exchange impacts, and higher interest rates, totaling approximately $1.50 per diluted share, on a combined basis. Absent these items, the Company is expected to generate positive earnings growth on a year-over-year basis.

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