Arctic Cat Inc., developer, manufacturer and marketer of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and related gear and accessories, today posted its third quarter and year-to-date financial results.

The company reported net earnings of $9.3 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, on net sales of $152.0 million for the fiscal 2011 third quarter ended December 31, 2010. Net earnings for the 2009 third quarter were reported at $2.6 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, on net sales of $131.0 million.

For the nine-month period ended December 31, 2010, Arctic Cat’s net earnings were $22.6 million, or $1.22 per diluted share, on net sales of $391.2 million, as compared to net earnings of $11.4 million, or $0.63 per diluted share, on net sales of $366.7 million for the nine months ended December 31, 2009.

Arctic Cat president and CEO Claude Jordan attributed the increased figures to several variables.

“We are very pleased with the company’s strong third-quarter and year-to-date performance. Our results were fueled by higher sales across all product lines, including double-digit gains in our snowmobile business. The combination of increased volume, product mix, product cost-reduction efforts, higher selling prices and a continued focus on efficiency led to another quarter of significantly improved gross margins and profitability,” Jordan stated in the press release.

Arctic Cat highlighted the following financial achievements for the 2011 third quarter and year-to-date financial results versus the comparable periods last year:

• Gross margins improved 430 basis points in the quarter and 370 basis points year to date;
• Operating profit for the quarter rose to $12.2 million from $0.6 million, and year to date increased to $32.7 million from $13.9 million;
• Factory inventory declined 27 percent to $77.2 million from $106.3 million;
• Total cash and short-term investments rose to $107.1 million from $50.4 million; and
• The company has no short- or long-term debt.

Snowmobile sales took the lead in both North American sales, as well as international sales, growing 33 percent to $77.8 million in the third quarter compared to $58.7 million in the prior-year quarter, and increasing 15 percent to $186.5 million versus $162.3 million in the same period last year.

All-terrain vehicle (ATV) sales rose 1 percent to $48.6 million in the third quarter versus $48.2 million in the prior-year quarter; year-to-date ATV sales were up 1 percent to $133.0 million compared to $132.1 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2010.

Sales of parts, garments and accessories (PG&A) in the third quarter grew 6 percent to $25.6 million versus $24.2 million in the prior-year quarter, while year-to-date PG&A sales totaled $71.7 million, down 1 percent from $72.3 million in the year-ago period.

Based on the solid results, Jordan said the company is confident it is on track to deliver improved operating results, increased profitability, and enhanced shareholder value. The company is raising and narrowing its estimated full-year earnings for the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2011, forecasting fiscal 2011 earnings in the range of $0.57 to $0.65 per diluted share. The company’s previous guidance anticipated fiscal 2011 earnings of $0.40 to $0.55 per diluted share. The company maintains its guidance for 2011 net sales at $453 million to $463 million.

For more information visit www.arcticcat.com