Thanks to an ongoing restructuring started in 2009, Harley has been expanding its profitability. Today before Wall Street opening, Harley-Davidson released its 1st quarter 2013 results. Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) diluted earnings per share increased 33.8% on higher motorcycle shipments and continued improvement in operating efficiencies, compared to the year-ago period. “With our focus on continuous improvement throughout our operations and providing outstanding products and customer experiences, we have continued to deliver gains in Harley-Davidson’s financial and competitive performance,” said Keith Wandell, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc.
Retail Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Sales: Dealers worldwide sold 54,254 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 59,677 motorcycles in the year-ago quarter. In the U.S., dealers sold 34,706 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the quarter, down 12.7% compared to the year-ago period which the Company believes benefited from accelerated sales due to abnormally warm early spring weather in the U.S. In international markets, dealers sold 19,548 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles during the first quarter, compared to 19,915 motorcycles in the year-ago period, with unit sales up 11.5% in the Asia Pacific region and 6.2% in the Latin America region, and down 10.8% in the EMEA region and 0.4% in Canada. Industry-wide U.S. heavyweight new motorcycle (601cc-plus) retail unit sales decreased 16.5% compared to last year’s first quarter. The Company has adjusted its definition of heavyweight motorcycles to 601cc-plus from the prior definition of 651cc-plus, to better align with the current U.S. industry definition.
Harley-Davidson recently reported newly available U.S. demographic market share data for 2012 new street motorcycle sales (all engine displacements) showing the Company continued its market leadership in the U.S. among young adults 18-34, women, African-Americans, Hispanics and Caucasian men 35-plus. According to the Polk data, in 2012, for the fifth straight year, Harley-Davidson was the number one seller of new street motorcycles in the U.S. to each of these groups. Sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the U.S. grew in each of these demographic segments last year, and Harley-Davidson sold nearly twice as many new street motorcycles to young adults as its nearest competitor in 2012. “We believe our continued market leadership in these customer segments demonstrates the strong and growing appeal of our products and brand across generations and cultures,” said Wandell.
“In 2012, nearly four in ten sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the U.S. were to customers who are new to the brand. Outside the U.S., two-thirds of sales were to customers new to the brand. And nearly six in ten sales worldwide were to customers outside our traditional U.S. base of Caucasian men 35-plus. We believe our strategy to expand our reach to new customers and market segments in the U.S. and internationally, while also growing the base, holds tremendous opportunity for Harley-Davidson’s future,” Wandell said.
Harley-Davidson Motorcycles and Related Products Segment Results: First-quarter operating income from motorcycles and related products grew 33.0% to $276.8 million, compared to operating income of $208.1 million in the year-ago period. Operating income in the quarter benefited from higher motorcycle shipments, higher gross margin and lower restructuring costs compared to the prior-year period. Revenue from motorcycles grew 15.9% to $1.15 billion, compared to revenue of $995.9 million in the year-ago period. The Company shipped 75,222 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide during the quarter, in line with guidance and a 17.1% increase compared to shipments of 64,263 motorcycles in the year-ago period.
Revenue from motorcycle parts and accessories: was $184.0 million during the quarter, down 7.5%, and revenue from general merchandise, which includes MotorClothes® apparel and accessories, was $72.1 million, down 3.3%, compared to the year-ago period. Gross margin was 36.7% in the first quarter of 2013, compared to 35.9% in the first quarter of 2012. First-quarter operating margin from motorcycles and related products was 19.6%, compared to operating margin of 16.3% in last year’s first quarter.
Guidance: Harley-Davidson continues to expect to ship 259,000 to 264,000 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2013, an approximate 4.5% to 6.5% increase from 2012. In the second quarter of 2013, the Company expects to ship 80,000 to 85,000 motorcycles, in line with shipments of 83,502 motorcycles in the year-ago period. The Company continues to expect full-year 2013 gross margin of 35.25% to 36.25%.