Every three months the companies that make snowmobiles release their quarterly reports. With each company’s diversity, it seems that sales in one or another segment they serve will be up, sales in another segment are down… deferred this, pre-orders that, cost of raw goods, tariffs, exchange rates, blah, blah, blah. It can get rather confusing for the common man — who would rather be thinking about riding than investing — to understand.
Let’s face it — if you’re a regular visitor to this website, you already invest in powersports, except your investment typically get you machines to ride, gear to wear and parts to bolt on, all with the goal of making life more enjoyable.
Just for fun, though, every now and then we like to look at the stock listings of the four big manufacturers and see what would have happened to our money had we invested in those companies. We chose an arbitrary two-year timetable, and on that scale the picture as of today isn’t very rosy, but the stock market as a whole hasn’t done that great on that timetable either — remember the big “correction” at the end of 2017?
Either way, let’s take a peek at each brand.
BRP = DOO.TO
BRP, the maker of Ski-Doo snowmobiles as well as a bunch of other products, trades on the Toronto exchange in Canada, meaning it trades in Canadian dollars. On Oct. 1, 2017, it was selling for $43.36 per share Canadian — which, with today’s exchange rate, would be $33.11 in U.S. dollars. Two years later, as of the morning of October 23, 2019, shares were selling for $57.24 Canadian — or $43.70 U.S. That makes BRP our run-away winner in this competition.
For the record, BRP’s stock bottomed out at $35.34 CAN ($26.98 U.S.) per share in December of 2018 and peaked at $68.12 CAN ($52.01 U.S.) per share in August of 2018. (Historic top and bottom figures throughout this story are figured on the first of each month.)
Polaris = PII
Polaris industries released its latest financial report yesterday, with higher than expected sales, but profits were lagging due to the results of tariffs costs and foreign exchange rates, its CEO said. It trades on the New York Stock Exchange in U.S. dollars.
On October 1, 2017, Polaris stock was selling for $118.43 per share, but this morning was selling for $100.71 per share, putting it in negative territory over the stretch. However, that 2017 date was right near Polaris’ most recent peak — its highest price in the past two years was $127.01 in November of 2017. Had an investor timed it right and bought at the December 2018 lowpoint, though, the current picture looks better — it was selling for $76.68 on that day.
Textron/Arctic Cat = TXT
As most snowmobilers snow, Arctic Cat was purchased by Textron Inc. a couple of years ago, so the ACAT option on the New York Stock Exchange disappeared and its financials now roll up into the much bigger figures of Textron, which makes a plurality of its money in defense contracts and other industries.
On Oct. 1, 2017, Textron was selling at $52.74 per share, and it sits today at $46.67, near its low point during the period. The first-of-the-month low point was in August of this year, at $45.30, while it peaked out at $71.47 per share in September of 2018.
Yamaha Motor Co.
Breaking out the Yamaha figures isn’t as easy, as there are several listings for the corporation on various exchanges worldwide. We went with the primary listing in the home country of Japan — the one on the Tokyo exchange. Having Japanese Yen as the currency also scrambles the brain a little.
On Oct. 1, 2017, Yamaha’s Tokyo listing was t 3,370 Yen, which is $31.04 in U.S. dollars at today’s exchange rate. Today, the stock was selling for 2,129 Yen, or $19.61 in U.S. dollars, so a rather notable drop. Like Textron, its low point was in August of this year at 1,738 Yen, or $16.01 U.S., and the high point was 3,695 Yen, or $34.03 U.S., in December of 2017.
Again, we picked an arbitrary two year timeline, and each of these companies has various local, national and worldwide factors that affected their prices through that time period. Plus, our math does not include any dividends paid to investors throughout this time period.
Editor’s Note: Every Snow Goer issue includes in-depth sled reports and comparisons, aftermarket gear and accessories reviews, riding destination articles, do-it-yourself repair information, snowmobile technology and more. This Cold Tested write-up was first published in the October 2022 issue of the magazine. Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive issues delivered to your door or your computer for a low cost.