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Why Polaris Industries Inc. Stock Dropped Today

By Steve Symington - Jan 26, 2016 at 12:25PM

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Even after pre-announcing results, the off-road vehicle maker's official report brought more bad news.

What: Shares of Polaris Industries (PII 1.55%) were down 11.2% as of 12:00 p.m. ET Tuesday following the release of the off-road vehicle specialist's official fourth-quarter 2015 results.

So what: Keeping in mind the stock already fell last month after the company preemptively reduced its full-year 2015 guidance, Polaris this morning confirmed that full-year 2015 revenue rose 5.4% year over year (9% on a constant currency basis) to $4.719 billion, while full-year net income rose 1.5% to $455.4 million, or $6.75 per share. 

During the fourth quarter, Polaris' revenue fell 13% year over year to $1.106 billion, and net income dropped 18% to $110.7 million, or $1.66 per diluted share. Both were slightly higher than analysts' consensus expectations, which called for revenue of $1.08 billion and earnings of $1.64 per share.

That said, Polaris also confirmed all of its businesses grew market share in North America despite a weak powersports industry overall. North American dealer inventory also closed up 5% for the year, which was in line with guidance. Within that, off-road vehicle dealer inventory fell 4%, which was slightly below guidance, as Polaris immediately reduced Q4 ORV shipments to account for the challenging retail environment.

Now what: The market is obviously less impressed, however, with Polaris' outlook for the coming year. For all of 2016, Polaris now expects revenue to be in the range of down 2% to up 3% from 2015, which should result in 2016 net income per share of $6.20 to $6.80.

To be fair, these wide ranges aren't entirely surprising as Polaris expects continued industry volatility, especially given currency fluctuations and trends in the oil and gas regions of North America. But analysts, on average, were modeling 2016 earnings of $7.00 per share, with revenue growth near the high end of Polaris' outlook.

In the end, this doesn't rule out the possibility Polaris management is prudently underpromising with the intention of overdelivering. And investors should be happy it is taking share in this down market, which should enable it to come out stronger in the end. But given the wide ranges of its 2016 guidance, it's no surprise our fickle market is taking another step back today.

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Polaris Industries. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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