The Arctic Cat ( ACAT) swung to a loss on lower sales in the first quarter, but the stock padded higher as both numbers were better than expected. The Arctic Cat lost $4.5 million, or 23 cents a share, in the latest quarter, including an expense of a penny a share from stock options. According to Thomson First Call, analysts had expected a loss of 28 cents a share, on average, in the latest quarter. A year ago, The Arctic Cat earned $448,000, or 2 cents a share. Sales were $96.4 million, down from $107.9 million a year ago but above the consensus estimate of $93.9 million. Snowmobile sales fell 60% from a year ago to $20.9 million as the company shifted production into coming quarters. The Arctic Cat stuck by a prediction that full-year snowmobile sales will be higher than last year's. "Our first-quarter results were better than planned, primarily due to higher all-terrain vehicle sales to dealers," The Arctic Cat said. "We are pleased with our dealers' positive response to our newest model ATVs, which we unveiled at our June dealer show. We also are encouraged that retail sales of Arctic Cat ATVs grew at a much faster pace than the overall ATV industry during the quarter." Looking ahead, The Arctic Cat expects to earn $1.03 to $1.08 a share in the second quarter, including 2 cents of options expense. Analysts were forecasting $1.12 a share. Sales should be $290 million to $300 million. Analysts were forecasting $298.3 million. For the full year, The Arctic Cat expects to earn $1.13 to $1.19 a share, including 7 cents or 8 cents of options expense. Analysts were forecasting $1.13 a share. Sales should be $754 million to $776 million. Analysts were forecasting $764.7 million. Shares of The Arctic Cat were recently up 47 cents, or 2.6%, to $18.43.