The Associated Press June 14, 2010, 9:08AM ET

Ahead of the Bell: Leisure vehicle demand

A KeyBanc Capital Markets said Monday that the leisure vehicle market is continuing to gradually improve, with the ATV market showing the most growth.

News that consumers are confident enough to spend money on discretionary items like ATVs, snowmobiles or RVs is a good sign for the economic recovery.

Analyst Scott W. Hamann said it appears manufacturers' inventories are much lower than in the past. Hamann noted that financing for these types of purchases remains stable so far this year, although it's still easier to get than a year ago.

Hamann said Polaris Industries Inc. will likely benefit the most from the improving ATV industry. He said the maker of snowmobiles, ATVs and Victory motorcycles is gaining significant market share in that sector.

He raised his rating on Polaris shares to "Buy" from "Hold" and set a $73 price target on the stock, indicating growth potential of 21 percent over the next year.

Hamann also thinks the company will continue to be aided by recent restructuring efforts and a partnership with Bobcat Co. in which the two companies will develop vehicles and share technology.

Also Monday, Hamann reiterated his "Hold" ratings on snowmobile maker Arctic Cat Inc. and boat maker Brunswick Corp. He narrowed his loss expectations for Brunswick, but recommends investors stay on the sidelines, saying he has less confidence about earnings growth.

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