What: Shares of Polaris Industries (NYSE:PII) were down 11.5% as of 12:50 a.m. Wednesday after the off-road vehicle specialist announced better-than-expected third-quarter 2015 results but underwhelmed the market by narrowing its full-year guidance.
So what: Quarterly revenue rose 12% year over year (16% on a constant-currency basis) to $1.456 billion, and translated to 10% growth in net income to $155.2 million, and -- thanks to share repurchases over the past year -- an 11.7% increase in earnings per diluted share to $2.30. This marks Polaris' 24th consecutive quarterly earnings record.
What's more, both figures exceeded analysts' consensus estimates, which called for revenue and earnings of $1.43 billion and $2.28 per share, respectively.
"Our record third quarter results continue to reflect the efficacy of our long-term strategy and the resiliency of the Polaris organization," added CEO Scott Wine, "as motorcycle growth accelerated, [off-road vehicle] share gains continued and our developing adjacencies built momentum."
Polaris' motorcycle sales skyrocketed 154% year over year to $160.4 million, while revenue from its core off-road vehicle segment rose 3% to $822.9 million. And as dealers build inventory ahead of the crucial winter selling season, Polaris' snowmobile revenue rose 14% year over year to $185.5 million. Meanwhile, parts, garments and accessories rose 3% to $226.3 million, and global adjacent markets -- which includes government/military sales as well as Work & Transportation -- climbed 10% to $60.8 million.
In addition, Polaris continued to make progress enhancing its Spirit Lake paint system -- a key source of added manufacturing costs and inefficiencies last quarter -- helping it stabilize operations and outpace shipment goals for the first time this year.
Now what: However, Polaris also revised its 2015 guidance. On one hand and despite its top-line outperformance, Polaris now expects revenue to increase 10% to 11% over 2014, a reduction on the high end of its previous guidance of 10% to 12% growth. On the other hand, Polaris anticipates 2015 earnings per share of $7.37 to $7.42, up 11% to 12% over 2014 and an increase to the bottom end of its previous range of 10% to 12%. Wall Street analysts, on average, were modeling higher 2015 revenue growth of 11.4%, and roughly the same earnings at $7.40 per share.
I can understand the market's disappointment that Polaris didn't simply increase both ends of its revenue and earnings guidance in light of its Q3 beat. But it's worth noting that, given that beat, Polaris could be underpromising with the intention of overdelivering. And even then, remember that the global environment in which Polaris operates is hardly predictable, as it must navigate everything from volatile currencies to ever-increasing competition while trying to sustain strong demand for its products. All things considered, this was another solid report from a great company, and I don't think long-term Polaris investors have any reason to be concerned.