Polaris Industries has joined the handful of motorcycle brands that have posted strong sales reports in 2014. By my count, Polaris is the fifth company to release its report and just like everybody else, the motorcycle brand is all smiles over its successful year that was.

In 2014, Polaris reported an increase of 59 percent in its motorcycle sales revenue, a mark achieved by strong sales numbers of sub-brand Victory Motorcycles, as well as the successful relaunch of Indian motorcycle and the introduction of the Slingshot three-wheeler. For the year, Polaris reported earning $348.7 million in sales revenue from its motorcycle segment, a dramatic bump from its 2013 numbers when it earned “only” $219.8 million. The introduction of the Indian Roadster and Scout motorcycles also helped bump up the company’s sales numbers in the fourth quarter of 2014 when it earned $103.5 million, much better than the $68.8 million it earned in the same quarter of the previous year.

Polaris’ successful 2014 came in spite of a few problems, which can be expected for any motorcycle brand. In the company’s case, delays in production slowed down what could have been a stronger sales figure. The resulting backlog of bike products didn’t help Polaris, either, while the stop sale and ride order issued for the Slingshot could still have some long term ramifications for the company in the event a full recall is issued.

That said, Polaris remains optimistic that it can continue growing in 2015. The company already expects to grow its motorcycle division by 50 to 65 percent, a pretty high number that could be achieved if the high volume of sales attributed to Victory and Indian continues and the purchase of Brammo’s EV technology pays off in the electric bike segment.

Click past the jump to read more about Polaris’ successful sales year in 2014.

Why it matters

Polaris Industries arguably has the most to gain of any bike manufacturer in 2015. It already started the year of with a bang by announcing that it had purchased Brammo’s EV technology, which means that we could very well see Polaris EV bikes using said class-leading technology this year.

Add that to the continued growth of Victory and the increased awareness of the Indian relaunch, and you have the makings of what could very well be another record-breaking year for Polaris.

Am I predicting that such a thing will happen? I’m not doing that yet, but the pieces definitely are in place. If Polaris plays its moves right and gets the momentum it needs from consumers, then it could happen.

The onus now is on the company to make sure that it does, and I’m confident that with the know-how it has on generating impressive sales numbers, it’s going to be another "all smiles" year for the fine folks at Polaris.

Press Release

Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) reported record fourth quarter net
income of $1.98 per diluted share for the quarter ended December 31, 2014, an increase of 27 percent compared to the prior year’s fourth quarter net income of $1.56 per diluted share. Net income was $135.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2014, up 25 percent from the previous fourth quarter’s net income of $108.7 million. Sales for the fourth quarter of 2014 totaled a record $1,275.0 million, an increase of 18 percent over last year’s fourth quarter sales of $1,083.7 million.

For the full year ended December 31, 2014, Polaris reported record net income from continuing operations of $6.65 per diluted share, a 23 percent increase compared to net income from continuing operations of $5.40 per diluted share for the year ended December 31, 2013. Net income from continuing operations was $454.0 million for the full year 2014, up 19 percent from the previous year’s net income from continuing operations of $381.1 million. Sales for the full year 2014 totaled a record $4,479.6 million, an
increase of 19 percent compared to sales of $3,777.1 million for the full year 2013.
“2014 marks our fifth consecutive year of double digit sales and earnings growth, an accomplishment which testifies to the innovative spirit and dedication of the 8,000 member global Polaris team. It is inspiring to see how they overcame obstacles ranging from negative foreign exchange impacts and a weakening European economy, to highly volatile oil and crop prices, to record a 19 percent increase in both sales and net income for the full year 2014. During the year, we added over thirty new vehicles to the Polaris armada, expanding and strengthening our portfolio with our largest ever new product introduction, while our strategic acquisitions and significant investments in our global manufacturing infrastructure allow us to both create and meet the increasing demand for our products,” explained Scott Wine, Polaris’ Chairman and Chief Executive

“While we expect to face similar headwinds in 2015, namely ongoing currency volatility and a struggling European economy, I am confident that with the best team in powersports and numerous catalysts for growth and margin expansion, we are well positioned to surmount any challenges. Our ability to develop, produce, and market visionary products, and to invest strategically and aggressively, will continue driving Polaris to industry-leading growth and profitability in 2015 and beyond.”

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