Polaris Industries Inc. says net income for its first quarter, ended March 31, was $19.1 million, or $0.55 per diluted share, up from was $12.6 million, or $0.34 per diluted share during the same three-month period last year. Sales for the first quarter 2008 totaled $388.7 million, an increase of 22 percent from last year?s first quarter sales of $317.7 million.
Polaris says the increase in first quarter 2008 sales and earnings per share is primarily the result of improved operating performance for the company's parts, garments and accessories (PG&A), side-by-side vehicle and international businesses. Also, improved snowfall during the riding season benefited sales and helped reduce Polaris dealers' snowmobile inventories to their lowest levels in 10 years.
ATV sales totaled $264.5 million, up 19% from $222.5 million; PG&A sales totaled $87.4 million, up 33% from $65.7 million; Victory sales totaled $27.3 million, up 3% from $26.6 million; and snowmobile sales totaled $9.4 million, up 224% from $2.9 million.
Polaris gross profit increased 36 percent to $88.1 million for the 2008 first quarter compared to $64.9 million for the first quarter of 2007 due to the higher sales levels. Polaris says the gross profit margin was positively impacted by the mix of products sold as more side-by-side vehicles and PG&A, which typically have higher margins, were sold during the first quarter of 2008, and lower floor plan interest expense and the positive impact of foreign currency movements, partially offset by increased sales promotion costs.
The Minnesota-based manufacturer raised its full year sales and earnings guidance for 2008. The company now expects full year 2008 earnings to be in the range of $3.36 to $3.46 per diluted share, an increase of between eight and twelve percent when compared to earnings from continuing operations of $3.10 per diluted share for the full year 2007. Sales for the full year 2008 now are expected to grow in the range of five to seven percent.
"We are pleased to report our first quarter results that have exceeded our expectations despite the difficult macroeconomic environment," says Tom Tiller, CEO.
"During the second quarter of 2008, we expect total sales to increase in the range of six to nine percent primarily due to continued strength in our side-by-side vehicle and international businesses," Tiller said. "Second quarter 2008 earnings from continuing operations are expected to be in the range of $0.66 to $0.70 per diluted share, an increase of six percent to 13 percent, compared to earnings from continuing operations of $0.62 per diluted share for the second quarter of 2007."