Why Arctic Cat's Shares Dropped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of ATV and snowmobile manufacturer Arctic Cat (Nasdaq: ACAT  ) were getting a frosty reception from investors today, as they lost as much as 23% in intraday trading.

So what: First, let's give credit where credit's due. For the final quarter of its fiscal year, Arctic Cat delivered better-than-expected numbers. Revenue rose 34% from the prior year to $98.5 million, and its loss per share improved from $0.52 to $0.49. Wall Street analysts had been expecting a per-share loss of $0.56 on revenue of $92.7 million.

For those who don't follow Arctic Cat closely, it's important to note that the fiscal first and fourth quarters are the company's seasonally low quarters and generally produce losses that are made up for in the stronger second and third quarters.

Now what: While better-than-expected quarterly numbers are often enough to send a stock soaring, it wasn't to be for Arctic Cat today. In its quarterly press release, the company also delivered its 2013 outlook, and it wasn't what investors were hoping for. At the respective midpoints, management sees revenue and earnings per share of $641 million and $2.45. Analysts had been expecting $2.70 in EPS on $660 million in sales.

The disappointing guidance appears to be driven primarily by weakness in the North America ATV industry, so investors will want to look for macro improvements that could provide a better tailwind for Arctic Cat as the year progresses. That said, considering the fact that shares have considerably pared their loss as of this writing, it appears that investors are already feeling more sanguine than they did earlier in the day.

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer has no financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter, @KoppTheFool, or on Facebook. The Fool’s disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.


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