H-D 2008 Third Quarter Earnings

October 16, 2008
Courtesy of Harley-Davidson

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Wondering how the American economic woes are affecting the Bar and Shield company? Harley-Davidson posted a 7.7% decrease in third-quarter revenue compared to last year.

Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) announced its results for the third quarter ended September 28, 2008. Revenue for the quarter was $1.42 billion compared to $1.54 billion in the year ago quarter, a 7.7 percent decrease. Net income for the quarter was $166.5 million compared to $265.0 million in the third quarter 2007, a decrease of 37.1 percent. Third quarter diluted earnings per share were $0.71, a 33.6 percent decrease compared to last year’s $1.07.

“In the U.S., dealer retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the quarter were in line with our expectations,” said Jim Ziemer, Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc. “Although Harley-Davidson retail motorcycle sales in international markets overall continued to grow double digits in the quarter, unit sales in several European countries slowed more than we anticipated during September as a result of deteriorating economic conditions. We continue to carefully monitor all markets in light of the potential impact of the current economic realities.”

For the full year 2008, the Company has narrowed its shipment expectations to 303,500 to 306,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The Company has narrowed its expectations for diluted earnings per share for the full year to $3.00 to $3.10 from the prior range of $3.00 to $3.18.

“We also have been able to maintain Harley-Davidson Financial Services’ position as a stable, consistent source of financing for dealers and retail customers during these turbulent conditions in the credit markets,” Ziemer said. “Prudent management and customer access to credit will continue to be priorities at HDFS.”

“During the third quarter, we completed our acquisition of Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta Group, expanding our opportunities in Europe. Our 105th Anniversary Celebration at the end of August drew tremendous, highly enthusiastic crowds. And we opened the Harley-Davidson MuseumTM, with its broad appeal to riders and non-riders alike. So even in the midst of economic uncertainty, we continue to broaden our appeal, plant seeds for the future and give people unparalleled experiences and reasons to ride,” Ziemer said.

“Going forward, we expect the global economy and consumer concerns to continue to create challenges for Harley-Davidson through the end of the year and in 2009. I remain confident about our future as we continue to manage and reinvest in the business,” said Ziemer.

Motorcycles and Related Products Segment – Third Quarter Results

Revenue from Harley-Davidson motorcycles was $1.05 billion, a decrease of $131.7 million or 11.1 percent versus the same period last year. Shipments of Harley-Davidson motorcycles totaled 74,704 units, a decrease of 11,831 units or 13.7 percent compared to last year’s third quarter.

Revenue from Parts and Accessories (P&A), which consists of Genuine Motor Parts and Genuine Motor Accessories, totaled $259.0 million, an increase of $7.5 million or 3.0 percent over the year-ago quarter. Revenue from General Merchandise, which consists of MotorClothes apparel and collectibles, totaled $84.0 million, an increase of $0.8 million or 1.0 percent over the year-ago quarter.

Gross margin for the third quarter of 2008 was 34.0 percent of revenue compared to 38.4 percent for the third quarter last year. This decrease is primarily due to higher product costs and the allocation of fixed costs over fewer units than last year’s third quarter. Third quarter operating margin decreased to 16.4 percent from 23.2 percent in the third quarter of 2007. Operating margin for the third quarter of 2008 includes the impact of a one-time $16.6 million expense related to the value of acquired in-process research and development at MV Agusta Group.

Motorcycle Retail Sales Data

During the third quarter, worldwide retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles decreased 9.6 percent compared to the third quarter of 2007. U.S. retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles decreased 15.5 percent for the quarter. The heavyweight motorcycle market in the U.S. decreased 3.1 percent for the same period.

Retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles grew 11.3 percent in the Company’s international markets during the third quarter of 2008 compared to the third quarter of 2007. Third quarter retail sales increased 12.4 percent in Canada; the Europe Region was up 2.9 percent; the Asia Pacific Region was up 17.5 percent; and the Latin America Region was up 41.6 percent.

During the first nine months of 2008, worldwide retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles decreased 6.0 percent compared to the prior year. In the U.S., Harley-Davidson motorcycle retail sales decreased 11.9 percent for the first nine months of the year while the U.S. heavyweight market was down 4.0 percent for the same period. International retail sales increased by 12.6 percent for the first nine months of 2008.

Third quarter and year-to-date data are listed in the accompanying tables.

MV Agusta

On August 8, 2008, the Company completed the purchase of the privately-held Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta Group. The Company acquired 100 percent of MV Agusta Group shares for total consideration of 68.3 million euros ($105.1 million), which includes the satisfaction of existing bank debt for 47.5 million euros ($73.2 million). As a result of the acquisition, the Company recorded $87.9 million of goodwill and the $16.6 million one-time expense related to the value of acquired in-process research and development. These results are included in the quarterly financial data.

Financial Services Segment

Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS) operating income for the third quarter was $35.6 million, a decrease of $13.9 million or 28.0 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. The decrease is primarily due to a $9.4 million write-down of finance receivables held for sale to fair value. In addition, last year’s third quarter included a $3.5 million securitization gain compared to no securitization transaction during the third quarter of 2008.

Income Tax Rate

The Company’s third quarter effective income tax rate was 38.2 percent compared to 35.5 percent in the same quarter last year. The third quarter increase was due primarily to a non-deductible in-process research and development charge for MV Agusta Group and the expiration of the federal research and development tax credit as of December 31, 2007. In October 2008, the federal research and development tax credit was reinstated for two years retroactive to January 1, 2008 continuing through December 31, 2009. The Company expects its full year effective income tax rate in 2008 will be approximately 35.5 percent.

Harley-Davidson, Inc. – Nine Month Results

For the first nine months of 2008, revenue totaled $4.30 billion, a 0.9 percent decrease from the year-ago period. Diluted earnings per share were $2.45, a decrease of 16.9 percent compared to the same period last year.

Through the first nine months of this year, shipments of Harley-Davidson motorcycles were 226,898 units, a 9.0 percent decrease compared to last year’s 249,413 units. Harley-Davidson motorcycle revenue was $3.26 billion, which is down 2.2 percent compared to last year’s $3.33 billion. P&A revenue totaled $706.6 million, a 0.5 percent increase over last year’s $703.1 million. General Merchandise revenue totaled $244.8 million, a 5.5 percent increase compared to $232.0 million during the same period in 2007.

HDFS operating income was $107.7 million, a 38.0 percent decrease from last year’s $173.6 million.

Cash Flow

Cash and marketable securities totaled $504.9 million as of September 28, 2008. Cash used by operations was $221.2 million, and capital expenditures were $153.7 million during the first nine months of 2008. For the full year of 2008, capital expenditures are still expected to be between $235 million and $250 million.

Stock Repurchase

The Company repurchased 2.5 million shares of its common stock at a cost of $100.1 million during the third quarter of 2008. On September 28, 2008, the Company had 232.8 million shares of common stock outstanding.

As of September 28, 2008, there were 16.7 million shares remaining on a board-approved share repurchase authorization. An additional board-approved share repurchase authorization is in place to offset option exercises.