You’ll have to pry my kid’s snowmobile from his cold, dead hands. Emphasis on cold.
So tell me, where will the Todd Palins of tomorrow come from? (Also pictured: unknown snow ma-cheen groupie.)
In Barron’s is a research note on Polaris Industries, which makes ATVs and snowmobiles. The note says Polaris’ stock is going to struggle because of many factors — one of which is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which is causing the company to drop models aimed at children. As you might recall from this piece on its impact on the motorcycle industry, the CPSIA is meant in part to keep kids away from lead. And the lead in batteries and vehicle parts counts the same as lead in Chinese toys.
The note, written by the research firm of Wedbush Morgan Securities, notes that though “such products represent less than 5% of Polaris’ sales, they do help garner interest among youth for these sports. Polaris is currently pursuing initiatives with the Environmental Protection Agency to clear these vehicles for sale again, though it remains unclear if and when this could happen.”
If this kid can’t ride his Dragon 120cc, he’s going to hop on the nearest snowmobile and go — even if there’s no snow.
Oh yeah, the crappy economy is a bit of a factor as well. Polaris’ stock traded for a 52-week high of $54.26 on Sept. 19, 2008. As of this writing, it was at a 52-week low of $15.47.