The Board of Directors of Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HDI) elected James L. Ziemer as company Chef Executive Officer, increased the dividend, and also approved an additional share repurchase authorization at the Annual Shareholder Meeting in Milwaukee on April 30, 2005.
The Board of Directors approved a cash dividend of $0.16 per share payable June 24, 2005, to shareholders of record as of June 14, 2005. This represents a 28% increase over the previous dividend paid on March 25, 2005.
The Board of Directors also authorized the repurchase of up to 20 million shares of HDI stock. This authorization is in addition to the previous 20 million share repurchase authorization approved by the Board of Directors on April 24, 2004. HDI repurchased 2.9 million common shares for $175.8 million during the first quarter of 2005.
"Harley-Davidson's exceptional business performance has generated a strong cash flow, enabling the company to return value to shareholders through increasing its dividend and authorizing the repurchase of additional shares of stock," said Ziemer.
Harley-Davidson shares dropped to a 52-week low of $45.12 in mid-April after the company reduced its profit outlook for the year because of high dealer inventory and weak first-quarter sales. The stock is down from a 52-week high of $63.75 in July.
Shareholders at the meeting also approved the reelection of George Conrades, Sara Levinson and George Miles as Class II Directors; approved the Employee Short Term Incentive Plan; and ratified Ernst & Young, LLP as the company's independent auditor for calendar year 2005.
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