4/4/2011-Finance Digest

Polaris reports record profit sharing with its employees
Polaris Industries has announced it will share more than $13.6 million of the company’s 2010 profit with its employees.
The money will be shared among about 2,250 hourly and non-salaried employees in a cash payment. On average, employees will see a bonus of about 19 percent of their annual pay base. Each full-time salary employee also will receive profit-sharing, and all Polaris employees will join in the distribution of $8.1 million in Polaris stock contributed to their retirement plans.
“We delivered strong performance and posted record results in 2010, and it feels good to reward the hard work and dedication of our employees,” CEO Scott Wine said in a press release. “It is fundamental to our culture that all employees share in the success they worked so diligently to create.”
BMW group posts record revenue, earnings in 2010
BMW Group achieved record highs for revenues and earnings in 2010, the company recently reported.
The company’s revenues climbed by more than 19 percent over the year-ago period to $85 billion.
In the company’s motorcycle division, BMW and Husqvarna totaled 110,113 units sold last year, an increase of nearly 10 percent from a year ago. The motorcycle division also recorded revenue and earnings growth in 2010.
On the auto side, the BMW Group registered its second-best performance with the total number of BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand vehicles delivered to customers rising by more than 13 percent.
ARI expects product upgrades to drive revenue growth
ARI Network Services Inc., a developer of technology enabled services, reported slightly decreased revenue in its fiscal second-quarter earnings report.
The company’s first-half revenue totaled $10.5 million, down less than 2 percent.
ARI said it completed several significant product upgrades and enhancements in its first quarter and expects to generate additional future revenues from those enhancements.
For its first six months, ARI’s net income was $222,000 in comparison to $338,000 at the year-ago time. Loss of deferred revenue impacted both ARI’s net sales and income.
The company’s catalog sales, its largest revenue source, was relatively flat for its fiscal first half compared to a year ago. The company said it increased its new catalog subscription sales from both its international and U.S. operations. That increase was offset by a decline in revenue from professional services.
ARI markets its services through multiple sales channels and geographic markets, serving approximately 18,000 dealers, 125 manufacturers and 150 distributors worldwide.
ARI said revenues from its lead management product decreased for its fiscal first half. Much of the company’s lead management sales come from the marine industry, which has been hit hard by the recession.
The company said it plans to launch a new platform of its lead management product, which is expected to drive growth in fiscal 2012.
Universal Technical Institute names new president
Eugene Putnam Jr. has been promoted to serve as Universal Technical Institute’s (UTI) president and chief financial officer.
Putnam, who has served as executive vice president and CFO since July 2008, will be responsible for operations, human resources, information technology, legal, regulatory compliance and government relations, in addition to his current CFO responsibilities. He will report to CEO Kimberly McWaters, who stepped down as president to concentrate on her role as CEO, according to a press release from UTI.
“Eugene’s promotion formalizes the partnership we have had in managing the business over the past few years and recognizes the key role he has played in driving improved efficiencies and recent record-breaking results,” McWaters said in the release. “Expanding Eugene’s role will also enable me to focus on more traditional CEO responsibilities, like company strategy, with an emphasis on our marketing and admissions activities. I am truly excited about our continued collaboration as we move the business forward.”
Prior to joining UTI, Putnam was the executive vice president and CFO of Aegis Mortgage Corp., president of Coastal Securities L.P. and executive vice president and CFO of Sterling Bancshares, Inc. Putnam also served as director of investor relations and in various corporate finance positions with SunTrust Banks Inc. for 14 years. He holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Expanded GE website aids retailers with financing
GE Capital Sales Finance launched a newly expanded educational website and interactive program that allows businesses to share their knowledge and experiences and learn from each other.
The site, featuring the Real Talk video series, was developed to help retailers use consumer financing programs more effectively to grow their businesses and increase customer satisfaction.
“Offering financing is an important part of the sales process and a proven way dealers can serve their customers and increase satisfaction,” Glenn Marino, president and CEO of GE Capital Sales Finance, said in a press release. “Our Real Talk online program has an important role in helping our partners succeed with consumer financing by providing additional training and proven strategies for more effective selling.”
The Real Talk concept was introduced last year in Sales Finance’s retail segment, enabling merchants to learn from the experiences and examples of some of its partners. Real merchant stories are captured in a series of videos for all partners to access online and use in educating associates in their own businesses. The program was so well-received that GE is expanding Real Talk for 2011. “This year, you will see more partner videos, more topics and more tools for business owners, managers and associates,” says Marino.
In addition to bringing training tools and solutions to partners, GE Capital Sales Finance’s Real Talk will become a fundamental education framework across more than 15 business segments for more than 200,000 small- and mid-size businesses on Main Streets across the United States. The Real Talk series complements the existing comprehensive sales curriculum on Sales Finance’s Business Center, an online suite of business and finance program management tools. According to Marino, “Everyone has insights, ideas and stories to share about how to get the most out of their financing programs and build their businesses.”
Deere seeing increased demand for its equipment lines
John Deere & Co. reported huge gains in its revenue and net incomes for its first quarter.
The company’s net income more than doubled from a year ago, to $513.7 million, for its quarter that ended Jan. 31.
The company’s worldwide net sales and revenues increased 27 percent, to $6.1 billion, compared with $4.8 billion last year. Net sales of the equipment operations were $5.5 billion for the quarter compared with $4.2 billion a year ago.
“John Deere’s first-quarter results reflect improving demand for our innovative lines of equipment coupled with the skillful execution of our business plans,” Samuel Allen, John Deere’s CEO, said in a press release. “Our actions are helping attract customers through advanced new products and technologies.”
Sales of large farm machinery, particularly in the United States and Canada, are continuing to make a major impact, while construction equipment shipments are experiencing some degree of recovery, Allen noted. PSB

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