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Arctic Cat sales, earnings up slightly

Arctic Cat Inc. reported slight increases for sales and earnings for the quarter just ended. The increases resulted from an upswing in sales of all terrain vehicles (ATVs) which offset lower sales of the company's snowmobiles.

ATV sales were up 11 percent during the second quarter of the company's fiscal 2003, ended Sept. 30. Sales of snowmobiles were down 3 percent for the quarter compared to last year and sales of parts, garments and accessories dropped 13 percent.

Thief River Falls-based Arctic Cat reported net sales for the quarter of $211.2 million, up from $211.1 million for the same quarter last year, but still a record for the company. Net earnings rose to $20.5 million, or 91 cents per diluted share, compared to net earnings of $20.3 million, or 84 cents per diluted share for the same period last year. The earnings for the past quarter beat mean analysts' predictions by 3 cents a share.

CEO Christopher Twomey said that the company is confident that it can reach its goal of 10 percent earnings per share growth in fiscal 2003. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call predict full year 2003 earnings of $1.31 per share, up from earnings of $1.20 in fiscal 2002.

Shares of Arctic Cat on the Nasdaq National Market closed down 9 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $14.13 Thursday.
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