Indian Motorcycle’s parent company Polaris has released its 3rd quarter financial results.  And, they paint a rosy picture for the manufacturer.  Pretty much everything is up year over year.

The financial and operational highlights for its 3rd quarter of 2020 are as follows:

  • Reported and adjusted sales increased 10% to $1.955B and $1.953B, respectively.
  • Net income was $2.66 per share; adjusted net income was $2.85 per share for the same period.
  • North American retail sales increased by 15% for the quarter compared to last year.  The financial Leaders are ORV, motorcycles, and snow machines. 
  • Polaris’ gross profit margin is 27.3%.  That’s up 270 basis points over the prior year. It’s adjusted gross profit margin comes in at 27.5%, also up versus last year.  The primary contributors are positive product mix and lower promotional costs.
  • Dealer inventory levels decreased 55%, given continued strong retail sales growth.
  • Polaris is raising its full-year 2020 sales and adjusted earnings guidance.  Their new estimates have full-year adjusted earnings in the range of $7.15 to $7.30 per diluted share and full-year sales up in the range of 2% to 3%.

Polaris CEO happy

Scott Wine, Polaris’ CEO, had this to say about the company’s results:

“Our continued strength in the third quarter reflects the broad-based consumer demand for our industry leading Powersports products, and tremendous execution by our Polaris team and dealers. Their focus and determination enabled Polaris to generate double-digit sales increases in ORV, Motorcycles and Boats, which were somewhat limited by supply chain capacity constraints. I am extremely proud of the diligent and efficient efforts of our team to mitigate these supplier disruptions and drive a three-year high in quarterly gross profit margins.”

“Demand has remained strong to start the fourth quarter and we expect our sales and earnings momentum to continue for the rest of the year. This pushes our expectations for overall company performance to exceed our pre-Covid-19 targets for 2020, demonstrating our confidence in the team to accelerate production as we manage through continued challenges.”

“Thanks to the dedication, innovation and customer-centric work of our entire Polaris team, whom we are working relentlessly to keep safe, we are realizing tremendous progress from our strategic investments in supply chain and digital transformation, electrification, and breakthrough product development programs. I am very optimistic about the future growth and profitability prospects for Polaris and our stakeholders.” – Scott Wine, Polaris CEO

Scott Wine Polaris CEO

Scott Wine, Polaris’ CEO. Photo credit:

Combined financials

If you are a fan of Indian Motorcycles and would like to know how well they performed individually, there’s a fly in the ointment for these figures.  Polaris combines many of its financial numbers, and it’s somewhat difficult to suss out information on Indian Motorcycle sales only.  But Polaris did provide some insights into their motorcycle 3rd quarter results.

Motorcycle segment sales, including parts, garments, and accessories (PG&A), are up 11% and total $167M.  Gross profit also rose, increasing to $16M from $9M in the third quarter of 2019.  However, the financial drivers for this uptick are an undisclosed number of sales of the Slingshot and PG&A.


Polaris combines its Slingshot 3-wheeler into its motorcycle segment financials.  This makes it difficult to ascertain Indian Motorcycles’ individual performance. Photo credit: Polaris

Motorcycle segment performance

Polaris did provide some motorcycle-specific commentary on its financial performance.  North American consumer retail sales increased in the low 40% (forty percent) range during the 3rd quarter of 2020.  Polaris then compares its motorcycle segment performance to others in the mid to heavy-weight two-wheel motorcycle industry.  They say the other companies were down low single digits percent.

Indian Motorcycles

Indian Motorcycles’ logo. Image credit: Indian Motorcycles

However, once again, these numbers contain sales of Slingshots.  And Polaris already has said that the financial drivers were Slingshot sales and PG&A.   So sales of Indian Motorcycles are difficult to ascertain.

International performance

Internationally, there were some bumps in the road.  Global Adjacent Markets segment sales, including PG&A, decreased 6% in the third quarter.  That figure equates to $107M in 2020 versus $117M in the third quarter of 2019.  Polaris blames the decrease on “…ongoing spending restraints in industrial, educational, government and rental organizations during the pandemic.”  However, Polaris’s international profits are higher in 2020 than they were in 2019.  They increased by 2% to $323M.

But probably the best news of Polaris’ 3rd quarter results is their forecast and business outlook for 2020.  Even with the impact of COVID, including production stoppages and supplier shortages, Polaris thinks it will perform better financially in 2020 than it did in 2019.  That’s quite impressive given how many other manufacturers are suffering.

Polaris says that given its strong retail sales, it is raising its sales and adjusted earnings guidance for the full year of 2020.  They say that their adjusted net income will be in the range of $7.15 to $7.30 per diluted share for the full year of 2020.  Those figures are provided against a backdrop of 2019’s adjusted net income of $6.32 per diluted share.

In addition, Polaris now expects that sales will be in the range of $6.925B to $7.0B.  That reflects an increase of two to three percent against 2019’s sales of $6.783B.

Good financials

So things are looking pretty good for Polaris.  Unfortunately, we don’t have good visibility into Indian Motorcycle’s individual performance.  But when the parent company posts 3rd quarter results like this, it’s clear that they will have the cash to drive positive results going forward.

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