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Wells Fargo Securities: Polaris sitting on solid ground

December 12, 2011
Filed under Features

If the economic environment heads south, Polaris Industries has a highly variable cost structure, and its inventories are much better versus 2008-09, according to a Sept. 14 research report provided to Powersports Business by Timothy Conder, managing director of consumer equity research for Wells Fargo Securities.

Conder, whose report was based on a Sept. 13 meeting with Polaris Industries management, also notes that management’s main concern is “that the [European Union] could pull U.S. back into recession, but so far U.S. and EU demand remains solid.”
The report also notes that Polaris’ motorcycle market has been better at retail the last three to four months, and core ATVs could follow. Conder also says that Polaris in 2012 expects a similar macroeconomic backdrop as 2011, with further modest market share gains and gross margin expansion.

Polaris announced last month that the company has received three separate awards exceeding $12 million to supply MV700 ATVs, MVRS700 side-by-side vehicles and associated spare parts to the U.S. military and its allies.

“Polaris vehicles appeal to the military due to our ability to modify our commercial off-the-shelf vehicles with additional accessories for different military missions,” said Rich Haddad, general manager of Polaris Defense. “The features and superiority of our product make them highly sought-after for military applications.”

The MV700 ATV and MVRS700 side-by-side both feature 700cc, electronic fuel injected engines with automatic transmission, true all-wheel drive and flat tires to tackle any type of terrain.

The MV700 also has front and rear winches, 600-pound rack capacity, 1,500-pound towing capacity, dual fuel tanks and is air droppable and sling capable. The MVRS700 side-by-side seats two soldiers and also features a nine-gallon fuel tank, rear bed with fold-down sides, D-rings and tie downs and a rugged, steel exoskeleton.

Duboise joins Drag

Drag Specialties announced that Dennis Duboise has been appointed sales rep for the Southern Gulf territory. Duboise
previously was employed as service manager technician in the parts department at Southern Thunder Harley-Davidson in Southaven, Miss., and as a service manager at Riders Harley-Davidson in Birmingham, Ala. He has also worked at Hustler Machine in Memphis. Duboise has had success as a custom bike builder by placing in Easy Rider shows. He also helped build a custom 2006 Street Glide for the late Bruce Rossmeyer of Bruce Rossmeyer’s Harley-Davidson in Daytona Beach, Fla.

MSF hits milestone

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recently graduated its six millionth RiderCourse student, a milestone reached through the ongoing efforts of nearly 10,000 RiderCoaches at more than 2,000 training sites worldwide. Though it would be impossible to identify the six millionth student, the MSF determined the total number of graduates through its enrollment statistics.

“We have RiderCourses across the nation and around the globe, often during weekdays, and virtually every weekend of the year,” said Robert Gladden, vice president of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. “Plus, MSF offers 23 different courses to meet the needs of any level of rider. We congratulate all our safety professionals, as well as the students. They are helping us with one of our main goals of developing good rider character, leading motorcyclists to make better decisions out on the road and in traffic.”

A wide variety of MSF RiderCourses is made available to every state in order to provide its motorcyclists with lifelong learning opportunities.

More than 23 RiderCourses plus other programs make up MSF’s comprehensive Rider Education Training System.

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