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Polaris Reports Record 2012 Fourth Quarter And Full Year Results; Fourth Quarter EPS Increased 38% To $1.24 With Sales Growth Of 15%

“Our strong performance in 2012 once again afforded us the opportunity to invest in key growth initiatives. Perhaps most exciting is the progress we made in support of the much anticipated Indian Motorcycle resurgence, which justifies and requires an unprecedented level of resources and investments. From designing and developing an all new engine and bikes, to building the team, distribution network and launch plans, we are executing a plan that will ensure we give Indian the best possible introduction to the market later this year.”

“Between the Indian launch and the much anticipated release of our jointly developed product with Bobcat, 2013 will be an exciting year for new vehicles. We are also enthusiastic about the potential KLIM, which we acquired in the fourth quarter, brings to our PG&A offering, providing both additional growth opportunities and attractive margin characteristics through its strong apparel brand. I believe our Polaris team is the best in Powersports, and together we will build on the strong finish to 2012 and play to win- again! - in 2013.”

2013 Business OutlookWine continued, “Disciplined execution of a set of well-defined strategic goals has guided us through several successful years, and we expect 2013 to be no different. We anticipate another record year, though we are keenly aware of the uncertainty surrounding the overall U.S. and European economic environment and increasing competitive pressure, most notably in our core Off-Road Vehicles business. We are prepared with countermeasures if economic conditions worsen and we are confident that our unparalleled product line of RANGER and RZR products, bolstered by a robust multi-year product pipeline of new ATV and side-by-side products, will emphatically answer these competitive threats, continuing our solid growth and market share gains. However, we cannot realize the promise of these products unless we efficiently bring them to market. Between the Max Velocity Program for Off-Road Vehicles and the Retail Flow Management process we are implementing for motorcycles, we foresee logistics becoming another vehicle driving us towards our sales and earnings goals.”

Full year 2013 earnings are expected to be in the range of $4.85 to $5.05 per diluted share, which represents an increase of 10 to 15 percent compared to full year 2012 earnings. Net income for full year 2013 is also expected to increase in the range of 10 to 15 percent over full year 2012. Sales for full year 2013 are expected to increase seven to ten percent over full year 2012 sales, with sales increases projected in Off-Road Vehicles, On-Road Vehicles and PG&A.

 

Fourth Quarter Performance Summary (in thousands except per share data)

   

Three Months ended December 31,

   

Twelve Months ended December 31,

Product line sales

2012

 

2011

 

Change

2012

 

2011

 

Change

Off-Road Vehicles $ 567,103 $ 465,768 22% $ 2,225,833 $ 1,822,334 22%
Snowmobiles 154,563 169,181 (9%) 282,968 280,046 1%
On-Road Vehicles 47,383 34,879 36% 240,172 146,328 64%
Parts, Garments & Accessories   131,598     112,141   17%   460,809     408,241   13%
Total Sales $ 900,647   $ 781,969   +15% $ 3,209,782   $ 2,656,949   +21%
 
Gross profit $ 253,800   $ 204,308   +24% $ 925,297   $ 740,583   +25%
Gross profit as a % of sales 28.2 % 26.1 % +210 bpts 28.8 % 27.9 % +90 bpts
 
Operating expenses $ 129,218   $ 118,131   +9% $ 480,792   $ 414,751   +16%
Operating expenses as a % of sales 14.3 % 15.1 % -80 bpts 15.0 % 15.6 % -60 bpts
 
Operating Income $ 134,877   $ 93,130   +45% $ 478,425   $ 349,924   +37%
Operating Income as a % of sales 15.0 % 11.9 % +310 bpts 14.9 % 13.2 % +170 bpts
 
Net Income $ 88,064   $ 63,899   +38% $ 312,310   $ 227,575   +37%
Net income as a % of sales 9.8 % 8.2 % +160 bpts 9.7 % 8.6 % +110 bpts
 
Diluted Net Income per share $ 1.24   $ 0.90   +38% $ 4.40   $ 3.20   +38%
                             

Off-Road Vehicle (“ORV”) sales increased 22 percent from the fourth quarter 2011 to $567.1 million. This increase reflects continued North American market share gains for both ATVs and side-by-side vehicles as we continue to expand upon our industry leading ORV market share position. Polaris North American ORV unit retail sales were up mid-teens percent from the fourth quarter last year, with consumer purchases of side-by-side vehicles climbing more than 20 percent, and ATV retail sales up high-single digits percent. The Company estimates North American industry ORV retail sales in the fourth quarter 2012 rose mid-single digits percent from the fourth quarter of 2011. While our international businesses continued to gain market share, sales of ORVs outside of North America decreased nine percent in the fourth quarter, primarily due to weaker demand in Europe. For the full year 2012, Polaris ORV sales increased 22 percent compared to that of the prior year.

Snowmobile sales decreased nine percent to $154.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2012 as compared to $169.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2011. This decrease is due to the Company’s decision to escalate early season snowmobile shipments into the 2012 third quarter so as to better coincide with the start of the consumer retail snowmobile selling period. Polaris season-to-date market share through December 2012 has increased in an industry that is down less than five percent season-to-date in North America. Sales of snowmobiles outside of North America, principally in the Scandinavian region and in Russia, increased 15 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 as compared to a year ago. For the full year 2012, sales of Polaris snowmobiles increased one percent compared to the prior year.

Sales of the On-Road Vehicles division, comprised primarily of Victory motorcycles but also including Indian motorcycles and our GEM and Goupil electric vehicles, increased 36 percent in the 2012 fourth quarter to $47.4 million. Consumer demand for Victory motorcycles was strong in each of our global markets, as we continued to gain market share and expand distribution in these areas. Fourth quarter and full year North American industry heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle retail sales were up slightly over 2011. Victory North American consumer unit retail sales increased in the fourth quarter and increased over ten times the industry percentage growth rate for the full year 2012. Sales of On-Road Vehicles to customers outside of North America increased over 50 percent during the 2012 fourth quarter. For the full year 2012, Polaris On-Road Vehicle sales increased 64 percent compared to the prior year.

Parts, Garments, and Accessories (“PG&A”) sales increased 17 percent during the fourth quarter 2012 compared to the same period last year. All product lines and product categories experienced increased sales. Sales of PG&A to customers outside of North America increased 16 percent during the 2012 fourth quarter compared to the same period last year. During the fourth quarter, the Company acquired KLIM, a privately owned, Rigby, Idaho-based company which designs, develops and distributes industry-leading KLIM brand of technical riding gear for both snowmobiles and motorcycles. For the full year 2012, Polaris PG&A sales increased 13 percent compared to the prior year.

International sales totaled $138.9 million for the 2012 fourth quarter, up six percent over the same period in 2011. The rise in fourth quarter sales resulted from a 19 percent combined increase in sales to customers in the Asia/Pacific and Latin American regions, along with higher sales of snowmobiles and Victory motorcycles and incremental sales from the Goupil acquisition. This was largely offset by lower ORV sales, primarily in Europe, due to sluggish economic conditions.

Gross profit for the fourth quarter of 2012 was 28.2 percent of sales, a 210 basis point increase over the fourth quarter 2011. Gross profit dollars increased 24 percent to $253.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to $204.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2011. The increase in both the gross profit percentage and gross profit dollars is primarily due to cost savings from product cost reduction efforts, production efficiencies on increased volumes, higher selling prices and ongoing cost saving from the manufacturing realignment project, partially offset by higher sales promotions. For the full year 2012, gross profit as a percentage of sales increased 90 basis points to 28.8 percent.

Operating expenses for the fourth quarter of 2012 increased nine percent to $129.2 million, compared to $118.1 million during the fourth quarter of 2011. Operating expenses as a percentage of sales decreased to 14.3 percent of sales versus 15.1 percent of sales during the fourth quarter 2011. Operating expenses in absolute dollars for the fourth quarter of 2012 increased primarily due to higher selling and marketing expenses as we prepare for the Indian motorcycle launch and implement the new go-to-market program for motorcycles and ongoing infrastructure investments for growth initiatives. For the 2012 full year, operating expenses, as a percent of sales, decreased 60 basis points to 15.0 percent.

Income from financial services increased 48 percent to $10.3 million during fourth quarter 2012 as compared to $7.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. These results were primarily a consequence of increased profitability generated from retail credit portfolios with Sheffield, GE, and Capital One, and higher income from dealer inventory financing through the Polaris Acceptance joint venture. For the 2012 full year, income from financial services was $33.9 million, a 41 percent increase compared to $24.1 million for the full year 2011.

Non-operating other income was $1.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to $4.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. The decrease in profitability resulted from foreign currency exchange rate movements and the corresponding effects on foreign currency transactions related to the Company’s foreign subsidiaries. For the 2012 full year, non-operating other income was $7.5 million as compared to $0.7 million for the full year 2011.

The Income tax provision for the fourth quarter 2012 was recorded at a rate of 34.5 percent of pretax income compared to 33.8 percent of pretax income for the fourth quarter 2011. For the 2012 full year, the income tax provision was recorded at a rate of 34.9 percent of pretax income compared to 34.3 percent for the full year 2011. The income tax provision rate is higher in the 2012 periods due to the renewal of the federal research and development income tax credit being deferred into calendar year 2013 by the U.S. Congress.

Financial Position and Cash FlowNet cash provided by operating activities increased 38 percent to $416.1 million for the year-to-date period ended December 31, 2012 compared to $302.5 million for the same period in 2011. The increase in net cash provided by operating activities for the 2012 period was due primarily to the increase in net income and improved working capital. Total debt at the 2012 year end was $107.2 million, and the Company’s debt-to-total capital ratio was 13 percent at December 31, 2012, compared to 18 percent at the same period in 2011. Cash and cash equivalents were $417.0 million at December 31, 2012, an increase of 28 percent compared to $325.3 million for the same period in 2011.

Conference Call and Webcast PresentationToday at 9:00 AM (CT) Polaris Industries Inc. will host a conference call and webcast to discuss Polaris’ 2012 fourth quarter earnings results released this morning. The call will be hosted by Scott Wine, CEO, Bennett Morgan, President and COO, and Mike Malone, Vice President―Finance and CFO. A slide presentation and link to the audio webcast will be posted on the Investor Relations page of the Polaris web site at www.polaris.com/irhome .

To listen to the conference call by phone, dial 877-706-7543 in the U.S. and Canada, or 973-200-3967 internationally. The Conference ID is # 48223930.

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