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Profits, Sales up in Harley 1Q Financial Report

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Harley-Davidson posted its best first quarter results in years, reporting a 44% jump in 2012 first quarter profits bolstered by a 20% sales increase worldwide. U.S. sales jumped 25.5% over the same period last year, with 39,762 new Harleys rolling out of dealers’ doors.

Harley Davidson Motorcycles
Harley-Davidson posted positive results for the first fiscal quarter of 2012, with profits and sales both up. Sales in the U.S. jumped 25.5% compared to the same time a year ago.
Income from continuing operations was $172 million, or 74 cents a share, up from $119.3 million, or 51 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $1.43 billion from a year-ago total of $1.22 billion.

Harley also beat its shipment expectations for the quarter, with 64,263 motorcycles distributed worldwide during the first quarter. This exceeds the shipment guidance set for that time frame of 58,000 – 63,000 motorcycles and easily eclipses the 53,827 bikes shipped in the first quarter last year. The Motor Company is also increasing its full-year shipment guidance by 5000 motorcycles to projections of 245,000 to 250,000 for 2012.

Operating income from its Financial Services division was about on par with last year, with the $67.4 million total a tad below the $67.9 million in operating income from last year’s first quarter. Last year’s total was boosted by the release of significant credit loss reserves, though.

Here's more details on Harley-Davidson's 2012 First Quarter Results:

Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) reported strong gains in earnings and dealer new motorcycle sales for the first quarter of 2012.

Income from continuing operations was $172.0 million, or $0.74 per share, on consolidated revenue of $1.43 billion for the quarter, compared to income from continuing operations of $119.3 million, or $0.51, on consolidated revenue of $1.22 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles grew 20.3 percent worldwide in the quarter compared to the prior-year period, led by a 25.5 percent increase in the U.S.

“We continue to be encouraged by the strong trend at retail and in earnings over the past several quarters. Our first quarter performance reflects the outstanding appeal of our products, the ongoing results of our transformation strategy, the efforts of our dealers and employees, and improving macro-economic conditions in the U.S.,” said Keith Wandell, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc.

“While we are obviously pleased by our strong start to the year, we are more focused than ever on the ongoing implementation of our business strategy and tapping the many opportunities we see globally. Through Harley-Davidson’s transformation to world-class manufacturing, product development and retail capabilities, we are positioning the Company to serve our customers even better and help ensure the strength of the business long term,” Wandell said.

Retail Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Sales
On a worldwide basis, dealers sold 59,677 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the first quarter of 2012, a 20.3 percent increase compared to 49,595 motorcycles sold in the year-ago period. Dealers sold 39,762 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the U.S., a 25.5 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2011. In international markets, dealers sold 19,915 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles during the first quarter, an increase of 11.2 percent compared to the year-ago period.

Industry-wide U.S. heavyweight new motorcycle (651cc-plus) retail unit sales increased 17.5 percent compared to last year’s first quarter.

In 2011, for the fourth straight year, Harley-Davidson was the U.S. market share leader among young adults ages 18-34, women, African American and Hispanic riders, as well as among its core rider group, across all displacements of on-road motorcycles, according to recently available data. More than one-third of new Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales in the U.S. in 2011 were to riders new to the brand, and in the EMEA region, more than two-thirds were new to the brand.

“Harley-Davidson’s market leadership among its demographic outreach targets we believe demonstrates the powerful and growing appeal of the brand to new generations and diverse groups of riders,” Wandell said. “We also continued to expand the reach of Harley-Davidson to customers around the world. Our employees and dealers are more dedicated than ever to making customers’ dreams a reality through remarkable products and extraordinary experiences.”
First-quarter data are listed in the accompanying tables.

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles and Related Products Segment Financial Results
First-quarter operating income from Motorcycles and Related Products grew 66.4 percent to $208.1 million on higher shipment volume and operating margin improvement, compared to the year-ago period.

Revenue from Motorcycles during the first quarter of 2012 of $995.9 million was up 19.5 percent compared to the year-ago period. The Company shipped 64,263 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide during the quarter, compared to shipments of 53,827 motorcycles in the first quarter of 2011. First-quarter 2012 shipments were higher than the Company’s shipment guidance of 58,000 to 63,000 motorcycles for the quarter.

Revenue from Motorcycle Parts and Accessories (P&A) totaled $199.1 million during the quarter, up 21.1 percent, and revenue from General Merchandise, which includes MotorClothes Apparel and Accessories, was $74.6 million, up 19.2 percent compared to the year-ago period.

Gross margin was 35.9 percent in the first quarter of 2012, compared to 33.1 percent in the first quarter of 2011. First-quarter operating margin from motorcycles and related products was 16.3 percent on operating income of $208.1 million, compared to operating income of $125.1 million and operating margin of 11.8 percent in last year’s first quarter.

Financial Services Segment
The Financial Services segment recorded operating income of $67.4 million in the first quarter of 2012, compared to operating income of $67.9 million in last year’s first quarter. Segment results reflect continued improvement in loan portfolio credit performance and increased net interest margin at Harley-Davidson Financial Services in the first quarter of 2012. In the year-ago period, Financial Services segment results benefited from the release of significant credit loss reserves.

Guidance
Harley-Davidson is increasing its full-year shipment guidance and expects to ship 245,000 to 250,000 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2012, compared to prior shipment guidance of 240,000 to 245,000 motorcycles. The new shipment guidance reflects consumer demand and the Company’s limited ability to produce additional motorcycles in 2012. In the second quarter of 2012, the Company expects to ship 79,000 to 84,000 motorcycles.
The Company continues to expect full-year gross margin to be between 34.75 percent and 35.75 percent. The Company also continues to expect capital expenditures of between $190 million and $210 million in 2012. While the Company is maintaining guidance for overall capital spending, it is increasing the portion of capital expenditures dedicated to support restructuring activities to approximately $35 million for the full year, compared to the previous estimate of approximately $25 million.

Restructuring Update
In the first quarter of 2012, the Company incurred restructuring charges of $11.5 million. Upon, completion, Harley-Davidson continues to expect restructuring activities initiated since 2009 to result in one-time overall costs of $500 million to $520 million through 2013, including costs of $50 million to $60 million in 2012. The Company continues to expect cumulative savings of $275 million to $295 million in 2012 from restructuring activities initiated since 2009, rising to cumulative annual ongoing savings of $315 million to $335 million beginning in 2014.
 
Income Tax Rate
For the first quarter of 2012, the Company’s effective income tax rate from continuing operations was 35.3 percent, compared to 34.8 percent in the first quarter of 2011. The Company continues to expect its full-year 2012 effective tax rate from continuing operations to be approximately 35.5 percent.

Cash Flow
Cash and marketable securities totaled $1.41 billion at the end of the first quarter, compared to $1.05 billion at the end of last year’s first quarter. During the first quarter of 2012, Harley-Davidson experienced a cash outflow from operating activities of continuing operations of $73.6 million, compared to an outflow of $104.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Cash flow was affected by a $200 million company contribution to its pension plans in both the first quarter of 2012 and the year-ago period.

Company Background
Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the parent company of Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Harley-Davidson Financial Services. Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. Harley-Davidson Financial Services provides wholesale and retail financing, insurance, extended service and other protection plans and credit card programs to Harley-Davidson dealers and riders in the U.S., Canada and select European countries. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson's Web site at www.harley-davidson.com.
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Comments
woodco100   April 26, 2012 05:47 PM
Then why are you commenting in the cruiser section of the webpage about a company that only builds cruisers? Just asking is all.
Allworld   April 26, 2012 08:03 AM
There is no shortage of consumers who love HD, and they produce a product that is no doubt leading the pack..... They just seem very dated. I don't have any interest in Cruisers, HD or otherwise my preference is for sport and street fighter bikes, European. Who can stand the loud pipe nonsense? Look at the new Aprilia, Tuono V4 or Ducati, Pinagle or BMW, K 1300 S, these bikes are much more cutting edge.
woodco100   April 25, 2012 06:42 PM
Allworld, Honda still build carbed bikes with no cruiser over 1300 cc,triumph touring bikes are chain drive, Yamaha has yet to build a cruiser with 6 spd. All Suzuki can do is designate thier bike by cubic inches, not CCs, hoping you might think are like HDs and buy one. Kawasakis are great copies built out of very cheep, thin plastic. HD is the real deal. They understand thier market and build the bikes they want to buy. If they were tomorrows price, folks would not buy so many today.
Allworld   April 25, 2012 12:24 PM
It would seem that HD appeals to a large number of riders, but their not very progressive on the technology front, to each his/her own.
I still can't get past, dropping Buell, HD will always be last years technology at next years prices.