Minneapolis-based Polaris Industries showed a slight increase in overall sales for the first quarter, but a corresponding decrease in off-road vehicle sales. Total North American retail sales were down nine percent for the quarter, with total ORV dealer inventory down 10%.
Third quarter net income was $32.3 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, for the quarter ended September 30, 2016 compared to $155.2 million, or $2.30 per diluted share reported in the third quarter of 2015. Sales for the third quarter of 2016 totaled $1,185.1 million, down 19 percent from last year’s third quarter sales of $1,456.0 million.
The sharp drop was attributed primarily to expenses for several recalls and “safety improvement initiatives.” According to CEO Scott Wine, “In addition to these recall challenges, we continued to face a weak overall powersports industry, but were encouraged by continued retail strength for Indian and our overall motorcycle business, and the return to growth for side-by-sides in September.”
Polaris’s ORV and snowmobile sales decreased 23 percent from the third quarter of 2015 to $923.4 million. Gross profits decreased 40 percent. Motorcycle sales decreased three percent, but Victory and Indian motorcycles reported increased vehicle sales growth, while Slingshot sales were down.
Polaris was very excited when they released the Slingshot but you have to ask the question: Should this be considered a motorcycle?