MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Snowmobile and ATV maker Polaris Industries Inc. on Tuesday said that its fourth-quarter profit climbed 38 percent, as increased sales of its off-road vehicles, motorcycles and gear and accessories more than offset a decline in snowmobile sales.

But its forecast for this year fell short of Wall Street expectations, and shares fell almost 3 percent in morning trading.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, Polaris reported net income of $88.1 million, or $1.24 per share, compared with $63.9 million, or 90 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 15 percent to $900.6 million from $782 million the prior year.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of $1.23 per share, on revenue of $893 million, according to data provider FactSet.

Off-road vehicle revenue increased 22 percent to $567.1 million. On-road vehicle revenue — Victory and Indian motorcycles and GEM and Goupil electric vehicles — increased 36 percent to $47.4 million.

Parts, garments, and accessories revenue increased 17 percent to $131.6 million.

Snowmobile revenue slid 9 percent to $154.6 million. The company said the decline represented a shift to shipping snowmobiles to the third quarter to better coincide with the start of the consumer retail selling period. Season-to-date sales by Dec. 31 were higher, with sales in the Scandanavian region and Russia up 15 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the company.

Polaris CEO Scott Wine said in a statement that the company expects sales in Europe to slip in 2013, but the company is going ahead with a new European plant, which he said “will provide significant future cost reduction and growth opportunities.”

The Minneapolis-based company is also investing heavily in the rebirth of the Indian Motorcycle brand, which it bought in 2011. Wine said the company is designing and developing a new engine and bikes and plans to introduce them to market later this year.

For the full year 2012, Polaris said net income jumped 37 percent to $312.3 million, or $4.40 per share, on $3.21 billion in revenue. That was up from 2011 earnings of $227.6 million, or $3.20 per share, on revenue of $2.66 billion.

Polaris forecast full year 2013 earnings in the range of $4.85 to $5.05 per share. It projected sales growth for the year between 7 and 10 percent, implying sales between $3.43 billion and $3.53 billion.

Wall Street was predicting, on average, earnings of $5.21 per share, with estimates ranging from $5.06 to $5.40. Analysts were expecting average revenue of $3.64 billion, with estimates ranging from $3.53 billion to $3.72 billion.

Polaris shares gave up $2.93, or 3.2 percent, to $89 in morning trading. The stock had been up more than 9 percent since the start of the year through Monday.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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