Vista Outdoor (NYSE: VSTO) and Polaris Industries (NYSE:PII) are both consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, profitabiliy, analyst recommendations, risk, valuation, institutional ownership and earnings.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Vista Outdoor and Polaris Industries’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Vista Outdoor $2.55 billion 0.50 $306.74 million ($4.72) -4.77
Polaris Industries $5.00 billion 1.12 $526.01 million $2.39 37.41

Polaris Industries has higher revenue and earnings than Vista Outdoor. Vista Outdoor is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Polaris Industries, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

Vista Outdoor has a beta of -0.16, meaning that its stock price is 116% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Polaris Industries has a beta of 1.31, meaning that its stock price is 31% more volatile than the S&P 500.


Polaris Industries pays an annual dividend of $2.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.6%. Vista Outdoor does not pay a dividend. Polaris Industries pays out 97.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Polaris Industries has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Vista Outdoor and Polaris Industries, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Vista Outdoor 0 6 5 0 2.45
Polaris Industries 2 11 3 0 2.06

Vista Outdoor currently has a consensus price target of $30.05, suggesting a potential upside of 33.50%. Polaris Industries has a consensus price target of $86.46, suggesting a potential downside of 3.29%. Given Vista Outdoor’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Vista Outdoor is more favorable than Polaris Industries.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

99.5% of Vista Outdoor shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 94.0% of Polaris Industries shares are held by institutional investors. 1.5% of Vista Outdoor shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.2% of Polaris Industries shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.


This table compares Vista Outdoor and Polaris Industries’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Vista Outdoor -10.78% 7.62% 3.45%
Polaris Industries 3.13% 26.47% 7.80%


Polaris Industries beats Vista Outdoor on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Vista Outdoor

Vista Outdoor Inc. is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of consumer products in the outdoor sports and recreation markets. The Company operates through two segments: Shooting Sports and Outdoor Products. Its Shooting Sports segment designs, develops, produces and sources ammunition and firearms for the hunting and sport shooting enthusiast markets, as well as ammunition for local law enforcement, the United States Government and international markets. Its Outdoor Products segment product lines include archery/hunting accessories, global eyewear and sport protection, golf, hydration products, optics, shooting accessories, tactical products and water sports. The Company serves the outdoor sports and recreation markets through a diverse portfolio of over 40 brands. It serves a range of end consumers, including outdoor enthusiasts, hunters and recreational shooters, athletes, as well as law enforcement and military professionals. It offers cooking solutions through Camp Chef brand.

About Polaris Industries

Polaris Industries Inc. designs, engineers and manufactures powersports vehicles, which include Off-Road Vehicles (ORV), including All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) and side-by-side vehicles for recreational and utility use; Snowmobiles, Motorcycles and Global Adjacent Markets vehicles, including Work and Transportation and military vehicles. The Company’s segments include ORV/Snowmobiles, Motorcycles, Global Adjacent Markets, and Other. Its ORVs includes the RZR sport side-by-side, the RANGER utility side-by-side, the GENERAL crossover side-by-side, the Sportsman ATV and the Polaris ACE. It produces a range of snowmobiles consisting of approximately 40 models. It offers a range of motorcycles under Indian motorcycles and Slingshot brands. The Global Adjacent Markets vehicles include low emission vehicles, light duty hauling, passenger vehicles and industrial vehicles. The Other segment includes business of TAP Automotive Holdings, LLC, a manufacturer of off-road Jeep and truck accessories.

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