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Company Profile of Polaris Industries

Company Profile of Polaris Industries

Discuss Company Profile of Polaris Industries within the Company Profiles & News !! forums, part of the Mirror View - Ebooks Links & Miscellenous Reading Material category; Polaris Industries (NYSE: PII) is a manufacturer of snowmobiles, ATV, and neighborhood electric vehicles. Polaris is based in Medina, Minnesota, ...

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Company Profile of Polaris Industries
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Pratik Kukreja
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Company Profile of Polaris Industries - May 12th, 2011

Polaris Industries (NYSE: PII) is a manufacturer of snowmobiles, ATV, and neighborhood electric vehicles. Polaris is based in Medina, Minnesota, USA. The company also manufactures motorcycles through its Victory Motorcycles subsidiary. Polaris no longer produces watercraft.
Robin (a subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries, which is the owner of Subaru) develops and supplies all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and snowmobile engines for U.S.-based leisure equipment maker Polaris Industries Inc. Starting in 1995 with the Polaris Magnum 425 4-stroke atv and in 1997, with the introduction of the "twin 700" snowmobile engine Polaris started the development and production of in-house produced powerplants, known as the "Liberty" line of engines, now found in many models across their current production lines. This production makes many Polaris products 100% American made. Fuji Heavy Industries now also maintains a US based production plant, in conjunction with Polaris, so that all engines are now American Made.
In late 2005, Polaris Industries announced that it would purchase a portion of KTM Motorcycles. Through this venture KTM has developed their own ATV and Polaris has developed Sport ATVs which utilize the KTM 525 and 450 powerplants that have seen great success on the ATV racing circuit.
In 2008, Polaris started backing H-Bomb films freestyle/race team The Bomb Squad. Alongside the Bomb Squad, Polaris also sponsors their own team, which has racers in all the GNCC, WORCS, WPSA, and ITP QuadCross series.

Polaris Industries Inc. is the largest manufacturer of snowmobiles in the world and a major competitor in all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and personal watercraft (PWC). It introduced a line of motorcycles in 1998. A pioneering force in the U.S. snowmobile industry, Polaris has since its inception enjoyed a strong reputation for quality and innovation. In 1989, for instance, the "MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour" called Polaris America's version of Mercedes-Benz.
The snowmobile industry leader has had its share of troubles during its history, however. In 1964 it nearly went bankrupt with the failure of the Comet, its first front-engine sled. During the late 1970s and early 1980s--a period of flagging sales and sell-offs that shook the industry as a whole--Polaris's future looked just as grim. A mid-1981 leveraged buyout that took the form of a limited partnership prevented an otherwise imminent plant shutdown, but it was several years before Polaris was again running smoothly, this time as a revitalized company uniquely situated in a far leaner industry. A decade later, on December 23, 1994, Polaris completed its transformation from a limited partnership to a corporation. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Polaris operated manufacturing facilities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa; it sold its products through approximately 2,000 North American dealers and a network of international distributors that marketed Polaris products in 116 countries around the world.

Polaris Industries Inc. (Polaris) designs, engineers and manufactures off-road vehicles (ORV), which includes all terrain vehicles (ATV) and side-by-side vehicles for recreational and utility use, snowmobiles, and On-Road vehicles (On-Road), including motorcycles and low emission vehicles (LEV), together with the related replacement parts, garments and accessories (PG&A). These products are sold through dealers and distributors located in the United States, Canada and Europe. In April 2011, the Company acquired Indian Motorcycle form Indian Motorcycle Limited. In April 2011, the Company acquired Global Electric Motorcars LLC (GEM).
Off-road Vehicles (ORV’s)
Polaris’ Off-road vehicles include both core ATVs and RANGER side-by-side vehicles. ORVs are used for recreation, in such sports as fishing and hunting, as well as for utility purposes on farms, ranches and construction sites. The Company introduced military version ATV and side-by-side vehicles with features designed for ultra-light tactical military applications. Polaris line of military vehicles consisted of thirteen models. Polaris’ line of ORVs consisted of 33 models, including two, four and six-wheel drive general purpose, sport and side-by-side models. During the year ended December 31, 2009, the Company introduced its all electric side-by-side vehicle, the RANGER EV. In January 2010, the Company introduced its 4-seat recreational side-by-side, the RANGER RZR 4, Robby Gordon Edition.
Snowmobiles
Polaris produces a line of snowmobiles, consisting of 27 models, ranging from youth to utility and economy models to performance and competition models. Polaris snowmobiles are sold principally in the United States, Canada and Europe. Polaris also has environmentally friendly snowmobiles, featuring a four-stroke engine designed specifically for snowmobiles.
Motorcycles
Polaris manufactures V-twin cruiser motorcycles under the Victory brand name. Polaris’ 2008 model year line of motorcycles includes 13 models, including its luxury touring models, the Victory Vision Street and Victory Vision Tour.
Parts, Garments and Accessories
Polaris produces or supplies a range of replacement parts and accessories for its ORVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles and personal watercraft. ORV accessories include products, such as winches, bumper/brushguards, plows, racks, mowers, tires, pull-behinds cabs, cargo box accessories, tracks and oil. Snowmobile accessories include products, such as covers, traction products, reverse kits, electric starters, tracks, bags, windshields, oil and lubricants. Motorcycle accessories include products, such as saddlebags, handlebars, backrests, exhaust, windshields, seats, oil and various chrome accessories. Polaris also markets a line of recreational apparel, including helmets, jackets, bibs and pants, leathers and hats for its snowmobile, ORV and motorcycle lines. The apparel is designed to Polaris' specifications, purchased from independent vendors and sold by Polaris through its dealers and distributors, and online through its e-commerce subsidiary under the Polaris brand name.


In December 1994 Polaris converted from a limited partnership to a public corporation for several reasons, including its desire to maximize shareholder value, its need for greater flexibility, and the approaching 1997 deadline for relinquishing its partnership tax status. The small company that began up along the Canadian border 40 years earlier had since transformed itself, through a series of rebirths, into a worldwide leader, with annual sales of more than $800 million.
Polaris had a great year in 1994: sales rose 56 percent to $826 million and profits climbed 66 percent to $55 million. Its share price fell drastically, however, after Barron's ran an article in January 1995 wondering whether a light snowfall would affect the company. Sympathetic analysts pointed to the new areas of the company's business that were not snow-related, such as ATVs and watercraft, where the company had captured market shares of 20 and 15 percent respectively.
In fact, Polaris had become the perfect diversification success story. In spite of Barron's worries, all product segments set records in 1995, leading to total sales of more than $1 billion in 1995. Revenues had more than tripled in five years. Snowmobiles accounted for 40 percent, down from 67 percent in 1990.
Polaris opened its own engine plant in Osceola, Wisconsin in October 1995. The company had previously bought Japanese engines from Fuji Heavy Industries and had set up the Robin ATV engine joint venture in Hudson, Wisconsin in February 1994. The new plant gave Polaris some flexibility in dealing with currency fluctuations.
Another record year followed in 1996, although snowmobile and watercraft sales slipped. Still, snowmobiling was reaching new highs in popularity, revitalizing the economy of sleepy Minnesota resorts that would otherwise have closed for the winter. Other related businesses popped up, supplying snowmobile trailers or hauling the finished goods to market. Demographics and a lack of new trails led some to believe that the boom was coming to an end, however. Concurrent with the rediscovery of the snowmobile was an explosion in personal watercraft sales, which tripled between 1991 and 1996. Makers of larger powerboats felt that they were spoiling their business, though.
As the revitalized Harley-Davidson could not make its famous "hogs" fast enough, Polaris decided to develop its own big, heavy cruiser class motorcycle priced below the Harleys. Made in Iowa, the first Victory V92C rolled off the line on July 4, 1998. Wendel noted that the company had already shown it could compete with the Japanese bike makers in other categories. The Harley mystique would be difficult to approach, although the Victory bikes received generally enthusiastic reviews. Others began making American bikes at the same time: Big Dog Motorcycles of Sun Valley, Idaho, the reborn Excelsior-Henderson Motorcycle Mfg. Co. of Minnesota, and numerous smaller shops.
W. Hall Wendel, Jr., stepped down as CEO in May 1999, remaining a major shareholder as well as board chairman. Thomas Tiller, president and chief operating officer since the previous summer, became the new CEO. Tiller had spent 15 years at General Electric, learning from its legendary leader, Jack Welch. When appointed, Tiller announced plans to double the company's sales within four years.
Polaris had made huge strides growing organically, and several record years gave Polaris plenty of cash for acquisitions. But the company stuck with joint ventures instead. In 2000, it contracted with Karts International Inc. to make a line of Polaris mini-bikes and go-carts for children. It also marketed a child-sized snowmobile to compete with Arctic Cat's Kitty Cat and began developing a snowmobile video game for kids to "burn Polaris into their beautiful little brains," as Tiller put it. Polaris took aim at hunters with a special camouflaged ATV co-branded with Remington firearms. Other promotions with DeWalt Industrial Tool Co. and NASCAR helped publicize the brand in the South.
In March 2000, Edgar Hetteen and David Johnson, joined by current Polaris chief Tom Tiller and seven others, recreated the epic Alaskan journey Hetteen had taken 40 years earlier to promote the snowmobile. This time the trip raised funds for Lou Gehrig disease research.
Dark clouds were just over the horizon: the Department of the Interior banned snowmobiles from most national parks in May 2000. "The snowmobile industry has had many years to clean up their act and they haven't," said an official. Polaris and Arctic Cat countered that both had been working to cut emissions and noise for years, but were waiting for the Environmental Protection Agency to announce a new emissions standard in September 2000 before retooling their production lines. The Park Service also complained of the potential for disturbing wildlife that snowmobiles offered.
Principal Subsidiaries: Polaris Industries Inc. ("Polaris Delaware"); Polaris Real Estate Corporation of Iowa, Inc.; Polaris Real Estate Corporation; Polaris Industries Export Ltd. (Barbados); Polaris Industries Ltd. (Canada); Polaris Acceptance Inc.; Polaris Sales Inc.; Polaris Sales Australia Pty Ltd.
Principal Operating Units: All-Terrain Vehicles; Snowmobiles; Personal Watercraft; Parts, Garments and Accessories.
Principal Competitors: Arctco Inc.; Bombardier Inc.; Honda Motor Co., Ltd.; Suzuki Motor Corp.; Yamaha Corp.


OVERALL
Beta: 1.74
Market Cap (Mil.): $3,554.71
Shares Outstanding (Mil.): 34.37
Annual Dividend: 1.80
Yield (%): 1.74
FINANCIALS
PII Industry Sector
P/E (TTM): 20.61 9.29 19.29
EPS (TTM): 48.90 -- --
ROI: 37.67 2.12 1.61
ROE: 58.08 2.20 2.45


Statistics:
Public Company
Incorporated: 1954 as Hetteen Hoist & Derrick
Employees: 3,350
Sales: $1.32 billion (1999)
Stock Exchanges: New York Pacific
Ticker Symbol: PII
NAIC: 336322 Other Motor Vehicle Electrical and Electronic Equipment Manufacturing; 336612 Boat Building; 336991 Motorcycle, Bicycle, and Parts Manufacturing; 336999 All Other Transportation Equipment Manufacturing; 315228 Men's and Boys' Cut and Sew Other Outerwear Manufacturing; 315239 Women's & Girls' Cut and Sew Other Outerwear Manufacturing


Key Dates:

1954: A small Minnesota machine shop sells its first "powered sled."
1960: Edgar Hetteen et al. make promotional snowmobile trip across Alaska.
1968: Textron acquires Polaris.
1981: Management buys out the company after a couple of brown winters dry up sales.
1985: Polaris starts making ATVs.
1992: Polaris introduces its personal watercraft.
1995: Sales pass $1 billion.
1998: Victory Motorcycles debut.

Name Age Since Current Position
Palen, Gregory 55 2002 Independent Non-Executive Chairman of the Board
Wine, Scott 43 2008 Chief Executive Officer, Director
Morgan, Bennett 47 2005 President, Chief Operating Officer
Malone, Michael 52 2010 Chief Financial Officer, Vice President - Finance
Fisher, William 56 2007 Vice President, Chief Information Officer
Longren, David 52 2007 Vice President, Chief Technical Officer
Bogart, Stacy 47 2010 Vice President, Compliance Officer, General Counsel, Secretary
Jonikas, Michael 50 2009 Vice President - On-Road Vehicle, Sales and Marketing
Corness, John 56 1999 Vice President - Human Resources
Dougherty, Michael 43 2008 Vice President - Global New Market Development
Swenson, Scott 47 2007 Vice President - Snowmobile and PG&A
Homan, Matthew 39 2008 Vice President - Off-Road Vehicle
Balan, Todd-Michael 41 2009 Vice President - Corporate Development
Krishna, Suresh 42 2010 Vice President - Global Operations and Integration
Schreck, R. 66 2000 Independent Director
Menard, John 71 2001 Independent Director
Clayton, Annette 47 2003 Independent Director
Caulk, Robert 59 2004 Independent Director
Van Dyke, William 65 2006 Independent Director
Wiehoff, John 49 2007 Independent Director
Kessler, Bernd 53 2010 Independent Director


Address:
1225 Highway 169 North
425 Lexington Avenue
Minnesota, Minnesota 55441
U.S.A.
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