Although it was a bumpy ride in 2011 for Harley-Davidson with sour consumer sentiment, the restructuring of its York facility and supply chain disruptions caused the Japan earthquake and tsunami, the company just announced this morning at 8.30 am EST that. 1- Worldwide retail new motorcycle sales climbed 10.9% in fourth quarter 2011 and 5.9% for the full year. 2- Full-year earnings doubled on motorcycle shipment growth 3- Improved motorcycle operating margin and financial services performance
Worldwide: Income from continuing operations was $54.6 million, or $0.24 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to a loss of $42.1 million, or $0.18 per share from continuing operations in the year-ago quarter. For the full year 2011, income from continuing operations more than doubled to $548.1 million, or $2.33 per share, compared to income of $259.7 million, or $1.11 per share, from continuing operations in 2010.
Retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles grew 10.9 percent worldwide in the fourth quarter compared to the prior-year period, including an 11.8 percent increase in the U.S. For the full year 2011, new Harley-Davidson motorcycle retail sales rose 5.9 percent worldwide and 5.8 percent in the U.S. “At retail, we believe the solid improvement in new Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales reflects the strong appeal of our product lineup to a diverse customer base and the great efforts of our dealers, combined with results from our investments in growth opportunities across all regions and improved consumer confidence in the U.S. While we are encouraged by the retail sales trend, we continue to keep a close watch on the marketplace and remain cautious in our expectations for 2012,” President & CEO Keith Wandell said.
Retail Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Sales. On a worldwide basis, dealers sold 40,359 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the fourth quarter of 2011, a 10.9 percent increase compared to 36,390 motorcycles sold in the year-ago period. Dealers sold 23,753 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the U.S., an 11.8 percent increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2010. In international markets, dealers sold 16,606 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles during the fourth quarter, an increase of 9.7 percent compared to the year-ago period.
For the full year, worldwide retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles increased 5.9 percent to 235,188 units, compared to sales of 222,110 units in 2010. U.S. retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles increased 5.8 percent to 151,683 units, and in international markets sales increased 6.1 percent to 83,505 units, for the full year compared to 2010. Industry-wide U.S. heavyweight new motorcycle (651cc-plus) retail unit sales increased 4.3 percent for the full year, compared to 2010.
Harley-Davidson Motorcycles and Related Products Segment Financial Results. Gross margin was 31.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to 29.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. Fourth-quarter operating margin from motorcycles and related products was 3.5 percent on operating income of $35.6 million. In 2010, the Company had an operating loss in the fourth quarter from motorcycles and related products of $6.8 million. Twelve-Month Segment Results: For the full year of 2011, the Company shipped 233,117 motorcycles to dealers and distributors, a 10.7 percent increase compared to 210,494 units shipped in 2010.
Financial Services Segment. The Financial Services segment recorded operating income of $56.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to operating income of $43.5 million in the year-ago quarter. The increase in fourth-quarter operating income was largely the result of continued improvement in credit performance at Harley-Davidson Financial Services. For the full year, operating income from financial services was $268.8 million, compared to operating income of $181.9 million in 2010. Guidance. Harley-Davidson expects to ship 240,000 to 245,000 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2012, a three-to five-percent increase compared to 2011. In the first quarter of 2012, the Company expects to ship 58,000 to 63,000 motorcycles..
Restructuring Update. In 2011, Harley-Davidson realized cumulative savings from restructuring activities initiated since early 2009 of $217 million, in line with company estimates of $210 million to $230 million. Upon completion, Harley-Davidson continues to expect restructuring activities to generate annual ongoing savings of $315 million to $335 million, beginning in 2014. Income Tax Rate.
For those owning or following Harley-Davidson stock (HOG), I will mention that Stock Price Performance: during October 20, 2011 to January 18, 2012, had risen $6.75 (19.2%) from $35.14 to $41.89. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 24, 2011 and July 5, 2011 when shares rose for seven-straight days, rising 12.6% (+$4.75) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 22, 2011 and August 2, 2011 when shares fell for eight-straight days, falling 9.1% (-$4.15) over that span.