MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Polaris Industries Inc.’s (NYSE: PII) Board of Director's has approved a 48-percent increase in the regular quarterly cash dividend effective with the 2004 first quarter dividend, the personal watercraft manufacturer reported in a statement today.
The first quarter dividend of $0.46 (on a pre-split basis) will be payable on February 17 to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 2.
Two-for-one stock split also declared
Polaris also reported that its Board of Directors declared a two-for-one split of the company's outstanding shares of Common Stock, which will be in the form of a 100 percent stock dividend.
On March 8, Polaris shareholders will receive one additional share of Common Stock for each share they hold of record at the close of business on March 1, according to Polaris. Upon completion of the stock split, Polaris will have approximately 43.4 million shares of Common Stock outstanding.
"We are pleased that our strong financial performance has enabled us to increase the quarterly dividend for nine straight years as well as to split our stock for the third time in the last ten years,” said Tom Tiller, president and chief executive officer of Polaris. “This dividend increase reflects the confidence we have in the future growth of our business and cash flows and our ongoing commitment to maximize our shareholders' investment. We have a clean balance sheet that has minimal debt with plenty of borrowing capacity and access to the capital markets; this dividend increase in no way restricts our ability to fund our growth initiatives.”
Tiller also said that, as in the past, Polaris expects to continue to return a portion of the cash flow generated by the company to its shareholders in the form of share repurchases with approximately 2.2 million shares remaining under the current board authorization.
Commenting on the stock split, Tiller stated that "the Board believes the lower per share price and increased number of shares outstanding should help to make our stock more accessible to a broader base of investors who share the Polaris vision."
With annual 2002 sales of over $1.5 billion, Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, personal watercraft, Victory motorcycles and the Polaris RANGER for recreational and utility use.