QUOTE AND NEWS
Gold Stocks Today  Aug 13  Comment 
Nations across the world are arming up. There is booming demand for all types of military technology, from aircraft to high powered artillery. Today, Byron King shows you the latest mil-tech breakthrough that will put the U.S. even further ahead...
Motley Fool  Aug 9  Comment 
Americans love their motorcycles, but this foreign moto maker managed to sell a whopping 15.5 million bikes globally last year. Can you guess the identity of this mystery manufacturer?
Motley Fool  Aug 8  Comment 
The revived brand introduces first new Scout in 70 years aimed at taking down Harley-Davidson's popular new rider bike.
Market Intelligence Center  Aug 5  Comment 
Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG) closed Monday at $62.31 and technical indicators recently have been bearish. Based in part on those numbers, MarketIntelligenceCenter.com's patented algorithms have identified a couple of attractive trading opportunities...
SeekingAlpha  Aug 5  Comment 
By SA Editor Miriam Metzinger: Stocks discussed on the Lightning Round segment of Jim Cramer's Mad Money Program, Monday August 4. Bullish Calls: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC): "Intel is something that will last for the ages." Verizon...
Wall Street Journal  Aug 4  Comment 
As Polaris Industries tries to grab market share for its Indian and Victory motorcycles, the company is battling against the cult of Harley-Davidson.
Forbes  Aug 3  Comment 
Polaris Industries unveils a fifth model in its bid to revive Indian Motorcycles and challenge Harley-Davidson
newratings.com  Aug 2  Comment 
WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Harley-Davidson (HOG), Friday said that it is recalling about 3,300 motorcycles citing ignition switch failure. The American motorcycle manufacturer said, "If the vibration causes the ignition to switch over to the...
TheStreet.com  Aug 1  Comment 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Harley-Davidson  n">is recalling over 3,000 motorcycles to fix an ignition switch issue that can cause the bikes to stall and crash, according to the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, Reuters...
SeekingAlpha  Jul 29  Comment 
ByMarshall Hargrave: Shares of Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) took a tumble after cutting its fiscal 2014 outlook. The company noted that sales suffered from the harsh winter. As a result, it lowered its full year shipment of motorcycles expectations;...




 

Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG) is the largest manufacturer of heavyweight motorcycles in the world by market share, capturing half the U.S. market and a third of the global market.[1] As a luxury good, Harley competes primarily on design and quality, rather than price, which keeps margins high; gross margin in 2011 is projected to be approximately 34%.[2][1]

Harley's past growth has caused continued success. it is closely tied to its customers brand loyalty; Harley is arguably the only company whose customers have been known to regularly tattoo its trademark on their body. Despite this rebellious image, the average Harley customer is an upper-class 47-year-old white male, and has been getting older at a rate of 6 months every year for the last 20 years.

Company Overview

Business and Financial Metrics

Q1 FY 2011 Quarterly Earnings Summary

Harley Davidson announces a 73.5% increase in income in year-ago comparisons, totaling $119.3 million for the first quarter of 2011.[3] Increases in income were driven by a 1.5% increase in revenue, totaling $1.22 billion for Q1 FY 2011.[3] Similarly, retail sales increased by 3.5% for the quarter when compared to the previous year, with the majority of increased sales coming from Europe.[3] International sales overall increased by 11.3% with European sales increasing by 22.7%.[3] Harley Davidson's market share decreased by 1.9% to 53.4% for the quarter.[3] Total revenue from motorcycle sales increased by 2.5%, totaling $1.1 billion.[3]

FY 2010 Annual Earnings Summary

Harley Davidson announced a 1 percent decrease in retail sales of Harley motorcycles for the fourth quarter of 2010 when compared to the fourth quarter of 2009.[4] Sales in the U.S. decreased by 0.2 percent for the quarter whereas international sales decreased by 2.1 percent.[4] Retail sales decreased by 8.5% for FY2010 when compared to retail sales in FY2009.[4] Decreased U.S. sales drove these figures, with retail sales in the united states decreasing by 11.7 percent and international sales decreasing by 1.9 percent.[4]

Revenue for the fourth quarter, however, increased to $697.8 million, a 26.4 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2009.[4] Shipments of Harley-Davidson motorcycles increased to 44,481 from 35,938 in year ago results. Similarly, gross margin was 29.6 percent for this past quarter as compared to 20.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009.[4] For the full year, revenue decreased by 1.2 percent to $3.14 billion.[4] Shipments also decreased by 5.6% for the 2010 fiscal year.[4]

Business Segments

Harley has two main businesses: selling Harleys, and giving people credit to buy Harleys. Specifically, Harley Davidson sells motorcycles directly, sells motorcycle parts and accessories, operates retail motorcycle dealerships, sells motorcycle gear and general merchandise, and offers loans to buyers.

Motorcycles (75.5% of 2010 revenue)[5]

The primary business of the Motorcycles segment is to design and manufacture premium motorcycles for the heavyweight market and sell them at wholesale. Harley-Davidson branded motorcycle products emphasize traditional styling, design simplicity, durability and quality. The Company manufactures five families of motorcycles: Touring, Dyna, Softail, Sportster, and VRSC. The Company’s Harley-Davidson engines range in displacement size from 883cc’s to 1803cc’s.

The touring segment of the heavyweight market was pioneered by Harley-Davidson and includes the Harley-Davidson Touring family of motorcycles, including three-wheeled motorcycles, which are generally equipped with fairings, windshields, saddlebags and/or Tour Pak luggage carriers. 4641354

Parts & Accessories (17.9% of 2010 revenue)[5]

Parts and Accessories (P&A) products are comprised of replacement parts (Genuine Motor Parts) and mechanical and cosmetic accessories (Genuine Motor Accessories).

General Merchandise (6.2% of 2010 revenue)[5]

General Merchandise includes revenue from MotorClothes apparel and accessories. The Company’s licensed products include t-shirts, vehicle and vehicle accessories, jewelry, small leather goods, toys and numerous other products. Although the majority of licensing activity occurs in the U.S., the Company continues to expand these activities in international markets.

International Sales

The Company’s revenue from the sale of motorcycles and related products to independent dealers and distributors located outside of the United States was approximately $1.361 billion, or approximately 32.5% of net revenue of the Motorcycles segment, during 2010.[5] Europe accounts for about 50% of international sales. Canada accounts for about 3.8%, while Japan accounts for 5.6%.[5]

Trends and Forces

An Aging Customer Base Limits Consumer Base for Harley Davidson's Products

Many students find the following to be helpful when writing papers.

Harley Davidson’s average customer has been getting 6 months older for the past 20 years, and is now 48 years old. The children of Baby Boomers generally do not want huge bikes that drive most of Harley's sales. Younger generations have a taste that errs towards smaller, cheaper Japanese bikes.

To address this trend, Harley bought out Buell, a fast bike producer, in 1998, introduced the unconventional V-Rod in 2002, and bought out the Italian MV Agusta company which makes premium light-weight bikes in 2008. However, Harley-Davidson has decided that this strategy does not fit well with its brand image. On October 15, 2009, Harley-Davidson announced its intent to divest MV Agusta and that it would exit from the Buell product line.

Harley will need to attract younger buyers to maintain its long-term market share, while not alienating its core customer.

The Strength of the US Dollar Abroad Impacts Earnings

Harley Davidson is increasingly reliant on international sales, especially in Europe. In 2004, only 18% of the company’s sales were international. This figure had moved to 32.5% by 2010, helped by a heavily weakening dollar. [6] Because Harley incurs its production costs in the United States, it benefits when the dollar weakens against the Euro and the Yen.

People tend to buy dollars to buy U.S. goods, or to hedge against the fluctuation of global currency (the U.S. Dollar is the world's most trusted currency). When people buy dollars, the dollar goes up, and Harley gets hurt.

The "American-made" Premium Negatively Affects Consumer Perceptions

Some say the collapse of General Motors (GMGMQ) was the end of an era for American manufacturers. GM did not just collapse because of high pension obligations. Its cars did not sell well. Asian competitors were making cheaper cars that broke less, took less gas, and went faster. [7]

As an increasing number of American factories go overseas to reduce expenses and do not see a decline in quality. Even Harley imports some Japanese parts due to their higher quality. The "American-made" premium is more nostalgic at this point than anything else. Honda and Kawasakis compete head-to-head with Harleys on technical specifications.[8] Harley is able to charge premium prices for their motorcycles primarily because of their brand image.

The question is: can a brand built on an increasingly distant past survive the future?

Harley faces two threats with its reliance on its brand image. First of all, cool retro-"Easy-Rider" culture could fade out of style along with corresponding demand for Harley's. Secondly, custom American chopper producers such as Big Dog Motorcycles and American IronHorse actually deliver the promise of an All-American bike that is more powerful and customized than almost anything out there.[9]

Comparison to Competitors

Major Competitors

Harley-Davidson maintains a large margin in its dominance in the U.S. Heavyweight Motorcycle market as compared to its major competitors. While the United States is HOG's most important market, the company sells motorcycles in many other markets worldwide.

Harley-Davidson's main competitors include:

Honda Motor Company (HMC): headquartered in Japan, Honda is the world's fifth largest automaker and largest motorcycle producer by recent standards.

Suzuki Motor (SZKMF): a Japan-based manufacturing company, Suzuki operates in four business segments. The Two-wheel Vehicle segment is engaged in the manufacture of two-wheel vehicles, as well as the manufacture of parts for two-wheel vehicles and the sale of two-wheel vehicles in domestic and overseas markets. The Company has 141 subsidiaries and 37 associated companies.

Yamaha Motor (YAMHF): Yamaha Motor is the world's second largest producer of motorcycles (after Honda). It also produces many other motorized vehicles such as all-terrain vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, outboard motors, and personal watercraft.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KWHIY): Kawasaki is a global manufacturer of transportation equipment and industrial goods. KHI manufactures ships, rolling stock, aircraft and jet engines, gas turbine power generators, environmental and industrial plants, and range of manufacturing equipment and systems. KHI also produces consumer products, such as Kawasaki-brand motorcycles and personal watercraft.



Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Harley Davidson Google Finance Profile
  2. Harley Davidson now expects 2011 gross margin 33.5%-35.0%
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 | Harley Davidson Announces First Quarter Earnings
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 | Harley Davidson Announces Fourth Quarter Earnings
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Harley Davidson 2010 Annual Report
  6. HOG Company Website
  7. Declining American Premium, US News
  8. HOG Performance Specs Article
  9. |Harleys losing their cool?
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