Harley-Davidson Reports 1st QTR 2010 Results

Q1 2010 Results

Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) reported first-quarter 2010 income from continuing operations of $68.7 million, or $0.29 per share. First quarter earnings included operating income from Financial Services of $26.7 million, marking a return to profitability for the Company’s Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS) subsidiary. Revenue from Motorcycles and Related Products was $1.04 billion in the first quarter.

Worldwide retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles declined 18.2 percent in the quarter compared to the first quarter of 2009, an improvement in the rate of decline from the prior three quarters. In the U.S., retail Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales were down 24.3 percent and in international markets, retail sales declined 2.8 percent, compared to last year’s first quarter.

"We are encouraged by our progress in the first quarter," said Keith Wandell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc. "We are seeing directional improvement in our dealers’ retail motorcycle sales as we enter the key selling season. At the same time, given the global economic uncertainty that still exists, we believe conditions will remain challenging throughout this year, and we will continue to factor that into how we manage the business.

"Our entire team is moving with great purpose and speed as we implement our go-forward business strategy, with its focus on global growth through market and demographic outreach, commitment to core customers, and developing motorcycles that inspire and fulfill dreams. We also continue to be intensely focused on continuous improvement, looking at all opportunities to drive cost-competitiveness and efficiency throughout our operations," Wandell said.

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles and Related Products Segment

Revenue from Harley-Davidson motorcycles during the first quarter of 2010 of $808.8 million was down 20.0 percent compared to the year-ago period. In line with guidance, the Company shipped 53,674 Harley-Davidson motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide during the quarter, compared to shipments of 74,670 motorcycles in the first quarter of 2009.

Revenue from Parts and Accessories totaled $149.1 million during the quarter, down 12.1 percent, and revenue from General Merchandise, which includes MotorClothes® apparel, was $66.3 million, down 11.9 percent compared to the year-ago period.

Gross margin was 36.6 percent in the first quarter, compared to 37.1 percent in the year-ago period. First-quarter operating margin decreased to 12.2 percent from 18.1 percent in the first quarter of 2009, driven by higher restructuring costs and the impact of lower revenue in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the year-ago period.

Motorcycle Retail Sales Data

During the first quarter of 2010, worldwide dealer retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles decreased 18.2 percent compared to the prior-year quarter. In the U.S., retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles declined 24.3 percent for the quarter and industry-wide heavyweight motorcycle (651cc-plus) retail unit sales declined 21.4 percent.

International retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles decreased 2.8 percent during the quarter, compared to the year-ago period, after double-digit declines in each of the prior four quarters. In the first quarter of 2010, the Europe region was up 1.2 percent, Canada was up 1.5 percent, the Asia Pacific region was down 9.8 percent and the Latin America region was down 7.8 percent, compared to the year-ago period.


The Company reiterated its expectation to ship 201,000 to 212,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2010, a reduction of five to ten percent from 2009. In the second quarter of 2010, the Company expects to ship 55,000 to 60,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The Company continues to expect gross margin to be between 32.0 percent and 33.5 percent for the full year. The Company also continues to expect full-year capital expenditures of between $235 million and $255 million, including $95 million to $110 million to support restructuring activities.

Financial Services Segment

First-quarter operating income from Financial Services was $26.7 million, an increase of $15.5 million compared to the year-ago quarter. The return to profitability for HDFS after three consecutive quarters of operating losses was primarily driven by improved credit performance in the retail motorcycle loan portfolio and by a lower cost of funds.

Restructuring Update

Previously announced restructuring activities that began in 2009 are proceeding on schedule and on budget. The Company continues to expect those activities to result in total one-time charges of $430 million to $460 million into 2012, including charges of $175 million to $195 million in 2010. In 2010, the Company continues to expect savings of $135 million to $155 million from previously announced restructuring activities, increasing to expected annual ongoing savings of approximately $240 million to $260 million upon completion of the restructuring.

"During the first quarter, we implemented the new labor agreement at our York facility and are on track with our restructuring of York for best-in-class production capability. I have been impressed by the efforts of our York employees to move forward together with this important transformation," said Wandell.

Income Tax Rate

The Company’s first quarter effective income tax rate from continuing operations was 47.2 percent compared to 45.4 percent in the same quarter last year. The rate increase was generally due to the tax impact of the recently enacted federal healthcare reform legislation and the expiration of the federal research and development tax credit, partially offset by the non-recurrence of a one-time tax charge related to a change in Wisconsin tax law in the first quarter of 2009. Relative to the tax impact of healthcare reform, the Company incurred a one-time tax charge of $13.3 million in the first quarter of 2010 associated with the taxation of Medicare Part D retiree prescription drug reimbursements. The Company now expects its 2010 full-year effective tax rate from continuing operations to be approximately 40.5 percent.

Cash Flow

Cash and marketable securities totaled $1.48 billion as of March 28, 2010, compared to $884.6 million at the end of last year’s first quarter. Cash provided by operating activities of continuing operations was $200.8 million and capital expenditures were $14.6 million during the first quarter of 2010.

Discontinued Operations

The Company is in discussions with potential buyers regarding its previously announced intention to sell MV Agusta. For the first quarter of 2010, Harley-Davidson, Inc. incurred a $35.4 million loss from discontinued operations, comprised of operating losses as well as a fair value adjustment of $28.6 million net of taxes. Including discontinued operations, the Company reported earnings per share of $0.14.

Company Background

Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the parent company for the group of companies doing business as Harley-Davidson Motor Company (HDMC), Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS), Buell Motorcycle Company (Buell), and MV Agusta.

Conference Call and Webcast Presentation

Harley-Davidson will discuss first-quarter results on a Webcast at 8:00 a.m. CT today. The Webcast presentation will be posted prior to the call and can be accessed at http://investor.harley-davidson.com/. Click "Events and Presentations" under "Resources."

Forward-Looking Statements

The Company intends that certain matters discussed in this release are "forward-looking statements" intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can generally be identified as such because the context of the statement will include words such as the Company "believes," "anticipates," "expects," "plans," or "estimates" or words of similar meaning. Similarly, statements that describe future plans, objectives, outlooks, targets, guidance or goals are also forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated as of the date of this release. Certain of such risks and uncertainties are described below. Shareholders, potential investors, and other readers are urged to consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements and cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included in this release are only made as of the date of this release, and the Company disclaims any obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

The Company’s ability to meet the targets and expectations noted depends upon, among other factors, the Company’s ability to (i) execute its business strategy and successfully exit certain product lines and divest certain company assets, (ii) effectively execute the Company’s restructuring plans within expected costs and timing, (iii) successfully achieve with our labor unions flexible and cost-effective agreements to accomplish restructuring goals and long-term competitiveness, (iv) manage the risks that our independent dealers may have difficulty obtaining capital, and adjusting to the recession and slowdown in consumer demand, (v) manage supply chain issues, (vi) anticipate the level of consumer confidence in the economy, (vii) continue to have access to reliable sources of capital funding and adjust to fluctuations in the cost of capital, (viii) manage the credit quality, the loan servicing and collection activities, and the recovery rates of HDFS’ loan portfolio, (ix) continue to realize production efficiencies at its production facilities and manage operating costs including materials, labor and overhead, (x) manage production capacity and production changes, (xi) provide products, services and experiences that are successful in the marketplace, (xii) develop and implement sales and marketing plans that retain existing retail customers and attract new retail customers in an increasingly competitive marketplace, (xiii) sell all of its motorcycles and related products and services to its independent dealers, (xiv) continue to develop the capabilities of its distributor and dealer network, (xv) manage changes and prepare for requirements in legislative and regulatory environments for its products, services and operations, (xvi) adjust to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates and commodity prices, (xvii) adjust to healthcare inflation and reform, pension reform and tax changes, (xviii) retain and attract talented employees, (xix) detect any issues with our motorcycles or manufacturing processes to avoid delays in new model launches, recall campaigns, increased warranty costs or litigation, and (xx) implement and manage enterprise-wide information technology solutions and secure data contained in those systems.

In addition, the Company could experience delays or disruptions in its operations as a result of work stoppages, strikes, natural causes, terrorism or other factors. Other factors are described in risk factors that the Company has disclosed in documents previously filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Many of these risk factors are impacted by the current turbulent capital, credit and retail markets and our ability to adjust to the recession.

The Company’s ability to sell its motorcycles and related products and services and to meet its financial expectations also depends on the ability of the Company’s independent dealers to sell its motorcycles and related products and services to retail customers. The Company depends on the capability and financial capacity of its independent dealers and distributors to develop and implement effective retail sales plans to create demand for the motorcycles and related products and services they purchase from the Company. In addition, the Company’s independent dealers and distributors may experience difficulties in operating their businesses and selling Harley-Davidson motorcycles and related products and services as a result of weather, economic conditions or other factors.