2012 NEWS ARCHIVE
NEWS

Harley-Davidson results show continued improvement

MILWAUKEE (August 1, 2012) -

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

Income from continuing operations was $247.3 million, or $1.07 per share, on consolidated revenue of $1.73 billion for the quarter, compared to income from continuing operations of $190.6 million, or $0.81 per share, on consolidated revenue of $1.51 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles grew 2.8 percent worldwide in the quarter compared to the prior-year period, including an increase of 4.0 percent in unit sales in the U.S.

Through the first six months of 2012, Harley-Davidson income from continuing operations increased 35.3 percent to $419.3 million, or $1.81 per share, on consolidated revenue of $3.16 billion, compared to income from continuing operations in the year-ago period of $309.8 million, or $1.31 per share, on consolidated revenue of $2.73 billion.

“We continue to see the results of our focus on the effective implementation of our business strategy,” said Keith Wandell, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Harley-Davidson’s strategy provides the roadmap for success over the long-term through exceptional product development, manufacturing and retail capabilities. We’re working hard every day to unleash the full potential of Harley-Davidson and our iconic brand, and our employees, dealers and suppliers are doing a truly outstanding job.”

At the end of the second quarter, Harley-Davidson began implementation of its ERP production and planning system at the Company’s vehicle operations in York, Pa. “The launch of ERP at York has gone very well. We are on plan and everyone involved deserves tremendous credit,” said Wandell. “The implementation of the ERP system at York supports greater manufacturing flexibility, which we believe will allow us to be even more responsive to customers over the coming years.”

Retail Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Sales
On a worldwide basis, dealers sold 85,714 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the second quarter of 2012, a 2.8 percent increase compared to 83,396 motorcycles sold in the year-ago period.  Dealers sold 55,761 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the U.S., a 4.0 percent increase compared to the second quarter of 2011. In international markets, dealers sold 29,953 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles during the second quarter, a 0.5 percent increase compared to sales of 29,797 units in the year-ago period.  Retail unit sales increased 10.0 percent and 37.9 percent in the Asia Pacific and Latin America regions respectively, and decreased 6.4 percent in the EMEA region during the quarter, compared to last year’s second quarter.

Through six months, dealers sold 145,391 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles worldwide, a 9.3 percent increase from the year-ago period, with retail unit sales up 12.0 percent in the U.S., 16.5 percent in the Asia Pacific region and 58.0 percent in the Latin America region and down 4.5 percent in the EMEA region.

“We’re pleased with the overall performance at retail during the first half, including continued growth in the second quarter,” said Wandell. “As expected, retail sales moderated in the second quarter due to an unusually warm early spring in the U.S. that pulled some sales forward into the first quarter.

“We continue to remain cautious in our expectations for retail sales globally in an environment of greater economic uncertainty, including in Europe where sales are clearly being affected by the challenging Eurozone economy,” Wandell said.

Industry-wide U.S. heavyweight new motorcycle (651cc-plus) retail unit sales increased 7.9 percent in the first half of 2012 compared to last year’s first half.

Second-quarter and six-month data are listed in the accompanying tables.

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles and Related Products Segment Results
Second-Quarter Results: Second-quarter operating income from motorcycles and related products grew 40.8 percent to $309.6 million on higher shipment volume and operating margin improvement, compared to the year-ago period.

Revenue from motorcycles during the second quarter of 2012 of $1.22 billion was up 21.6 percent compared to the year-ago period. The Company shipped 83,502 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide during the quarter, up 25.0 percent compared to shipments of 66,815 motorcycles in the second quarter of 2011.

Revenue from motorcycle parts and accessories totaled $265.6 million during the quarter, up 4.0 percent, and revenue from general merchandise, which includes MotorClothes® apparel and accessories, was $75.1 million, up 3.1 percent compared to the year-ago period.

Gross margin was 35.9 percent in the second quarter of 2012, compared to 35.0 percent in the second quarter of 2011. Second-quarter operating margin from motorcycles and related products was 19.7 percent on operating income of $309.6 million, compared to operating margin of 16.4 percent on operating income of $219.8 million in last year’s second quarter.

Six-Month Results: Through the first six months of 2012 the Company shipped 147,765 motorcycles to dealers and distributors, a 22.5 percent increase compared to the year-ago period. Revenue from motorcycles grew 20.6 percent to $2.22 billion through six months. First-half revenue from parts and accessories grew 10.7 percent to $464.6 million and revenue from general merchandise grew 10.5 percent to $149.7 million. Gross margin through six months was 35.9 percent and operating margin was 18.2 percent, compared to 34.1 percent and 14.4 percent respectively in last year’s first half.

Financial Services Segment Results
Operating income from financial services was $82.0 million in the second quarter of 2012, compared to operating income of $82.1 million in last year’s second quarter. Through six months, operating income from financial services was $149.3 million, compared to operating income of $150.0 million in the first half of 2011. Results for the second quarter and the first six months of 2012 reflect continued improvement in credit performance year over year and reduced cost of funds. Financial services results in last year’s second quarter and first half benefited from the release of significant credit loss reserves.

Guidance
Harley-Davidson continues to expect to ship 245,000 to 250,000 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2012, a five-to seven-percent increase from 2011. In the third quarter of 2012, the Company expects to ship 51,000 to 56,000 motorcycles, a decrease of 9.3 percent to 17.4 percent from the year-ago period. This is consistent with the Company’s previously announced plans for lower shipments in the third and fourth quarters of 2012 related to the implementation of ERP and surge production at York. The Company continues to expect full-year gross margin of 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.  

Restructuring Update
In the second quarter of 2012, the Company incurred restructuring charges of $6.2 million. Upon the anticipated completion of restructuring in 2013, Harley-Davidson now expects restructuring activities initiated since 2009 to result in one-time overall costs of $490 million to $510 million through 2013, a reduction of $10 million from the prior estimate. In 2012, the Company now expects restructuring costs of $40 million to $50 million, compared to the prior estimate of $50 million to $60 million. 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
Through six months, the Company’s effective tax rate was 35.3 percent compared to 34.8 percent in the year-ago period.  The Company continues to expect its full-year 2012 effective tax rate from continuing operations will be approximately 35.5 percent.

Cash Flow
Cash and marketable securities totaled $1.21 billion at the end of the second quarter, compared to $1.22 billion at the end of last year’s second quarter. During the first six months of 2012, Harley-Davidson generated $288.2 million of cash provided by operating activities of continuing operations, compared to $473.0 million in the year-ago period. The Company repurchased 3.1 million shares of Harley-Davidson, Inc. common stock during the second quarter of 2012 at a cost of $150.1 million. At the end of the quarter, there were approximately 227 million shares of Harley-Davidson common stock outstanding and 17.2 million shares remaining on board-approved share repurchase authorizations.

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 other select international markets. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson's Web site at www.harley-davidson.com.

Conference Call and Webcast Presentation
Harley-Davidson will discuss second-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.” The audio portion of today’s call will also be posted at harley-davidson.com beginning approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call for one year. The audio may also be accessed until August 16, 2012 by calling 404-537-3406 or 855-859-2056 in the US, pin number 97247206#. 

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, (ii) effectively execute the Company’s restructuring plans within expected costs and timing, (iii) adjust to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates and commodity prices,  (iv) manage through inconsistent economic conditions, including changing capital, credit and retail markets, (v) implement and manage enterprise-wide information technology solutions, including solutions at its manufacturing facilities, and secure data contained in those systems, (vi) anticipate the level of consumer confidence in the economy, (vii) continue to realize production efficiencies at its production facilities and manage operating costs including materials, labor and overhead, (viii) successfully implement with our labor unions the agreements that we have executed with them that we believe will provide flexibility and cost-effectiveness to accomplish restructuring goals and long-term competitiveness, (ix) manage risks that arise through expanding international operations and sales, (x) manage supply chain issues, including any unexpected interruptions or price increases caused by raw material shortages or natural disasters, (xi) manage production capacity and production changes, (xii) provide products, services and experiences that are successful in the marketplace, (xiii) develop and implement sales and marketing plans that retain existing retail customers and attract new retail customers in an increasingly competitive marketplace, (xiv) manage the risks that our independent dealers may have difficulty obtaining capital and managing through changing economic conditions and consumer demand, (xv) continue to have access to reliable sources of capital funding and adjust to fluctuations in the cost of capital, (xvi) manage the credit quality, the loan servicing and collection activities, and the recovery rates of HDFS’ loan portfolio, (xvii) sell all of its motorcycles and related products and services to its independent dealers, (xviii) continue to develop the capabilities of its distributor and dealer network, (xix) manage changes and prepare for requirements in legislative and regulatory environments for its products, services and operations, (xx) adjust to healthcare inflation and reform, pension reform and tax changes, (xxi) retain and attract talented employees, and (xxii) detect any issues with our motorcycles or manufacturing processes to avoid delays in new model launches, recall campaigns, increased warranty costs or litigation. 

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.

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.