Research Question: Will sales at Polaris Industries be adversely affected by a decline in spending from the agricultural sector?
Companies Covered: Polaris Industries (PII)
Report Available: May 14, 2014
Blueshift’s initial research indicates Polaris is growing company revenue through innovation and key investments, but product sales could slow as farmers’ income decreases and the agriculture sector’s purchases decline.
- Polaris continues to outperform estimates as its sales rose 20% year-over-year for the fourth quarter and 18% for the year due to growth in all categories and rising demand for the company’s new RANGER and RZR offerings. Polaris continues to expand its product offerings and invests heavily in innovations to keep ahead of the competitive pack. Some of these investments resulted in acquisitions and partnerships over the past several years, broadening both the company’s product offerings and geographic footprint with the purchase of European small vehicle maker Aixam Mega SAS and forming a partnership with Bobcat to develop a line of commercial utility vehicles known as Brutus.
- Consumer application sales consistently make up roughly 85% of UTV sales in North America, of which a large portion of those sales are made to farmers, hobby farms, and ranchers. This fact, coupled with declining sales of farm equipment in the recent quarter for John Deere due to the trend of rising agricultural input costs and other factors, including the significant drought in California, is shrinking disposable income for farmers, raising concerns about the impact of these events on Polaris sales in 2014. Specifically, the company’s RANGER and RZR vehicles that are popular among farmers.
- Blueshift’s August 2013 Farming Equipment report echoed declining farming equipment sales for the remainder of 2013 and throughout 2014, according to 23 of 30 sources. Additionally, Midwest farmers saw signs of declining equipment sales, saying that dealers’ lots are filled with new and late-model, high-end farm equipment. Months before that report was released, Blueshift conducted a report in January 2013 about Polaris, which showed the company at the forefront of the side-by-side market according to 16 of 17 sources, with 9 of 10 multibrand dealers saying Polaris would maintain or take share from its competitors.
To better understand the extent Polaris will be impacted by a decrease in purchases of farm equipment in 2014, Blueshift will gather data and issue a market research report from independent sources in the following areas: Polaris dealers, multibrand dealers, farm equipment dealers, farmers, and industry specialists.
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