Feb. 10, 2003 – Finance Digest

ProQuest names CEO
ProQuest Company (NYSE:PQE), has named Alan Aldworth chief executive officer of the company. James P. Roemer will continue his role as chairman on a full-time basis.
Aldworth, the company’s president and chief operating officer, joined ProQuest as chief financial officer in October 2000, and was named president and COO in January of 2001. “This is part of our long-term succession plan,” Roemer said.
At the same time, ProQuest announced a share repurchase program and lowered its fourth quarter and full year revenue forecasts to 4% and 7%, respectively.
ProQuest Business Solutions is expected to have revenue growth of 10% for the fourth quarter and 8% for the full year. Business Solutions’ revenue growth continues to be driven by solid results from ProQuest Alison and ProQuest Powersports, which each had revenue growth of 8% for the year, and the outstanding performance of the automotive group, which had revenue growth of 12% for the year.
ProQuest Company also announced that its board of directors has approved an authorization to acquire up to 5% of the company’s outstanding shares. Any purchase of ProQuest common stock will be funded through free cash flow or through the company’s current revolving credit facility.

Polaris hikes Quarterly Dividend
Polaris Industries Inc., Medina, Minn., has approved an increase in its regular quarterly dividend from 28 cents per share to 31 cents per share of common stock, an 11% increase. The dividend is payable on or about Feb. 15, 2003, to shareholders of record on Feb. 1, 2003.

Harley continues record run
Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE:HDI) extended its run of record earnings to 17 years when it announced record revenue and earnings for its fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2002.
Revenue for the quarter was $1.03 billion compared with $905.9 million in the year-ago quarter, a 13.3% increase. Net income for the quarter was $150.9 million, an increase of 27.5% over the year ago quarter.
Fourth quarter diluted earnings per share (EPS) were 49 cents, a 25.6% increase compared with last year’s 39 cents. Revenue for the full year was $4.1 billion, compared with $3.4 billion in 2001, a 20.1% increase. Net income for the year was $580.2 million, a 32.5% increase versus last year’s $437.7 million, while diluted EPS for the full year were $1.90, a 32.9% increase compared with $1.43 in 2001.
“Worldwide retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles were strong in 2002 with 15.9% unit growth over the prior year,” said said Jeffrey L. Bleustein, chairman and CEO.
“We believe that the excitement surrounding our 100th Anniversary celebration combined with the strength of the underlying fundamentals of our motorcycle business are helping us continue to grow — even in the face of a weak global economy,” he said.
Revenue from Harley-Davidson motorcycles was $820.3 million, an increase of $86.1 million or 11.7% over the same period last year. Fourth quarter shipments of Harley motorcycles totaled 65,970 units. The company had four fewer workdays in the fourth quarter of 2002 compared with 2001, yet shipped 2,435 more units, or 3.8% more than the same period last year.
Revenue from Parts and Accessories (P&A), consisting of Genuine Motor Parts and Genuine Motor Accessories, totaled $129.9 million, an increase of $18.5 million, or 16.6% over the year-ago quarter. Revenue from General Merchandise, which consists of MotorClothes apparel and collectibles, totaled $54.8 million, an increase of $7.3 million or 15.4%. Revenue from 100th Anniversary P&A products was $12.7 million and revenue from General Merchandise associated with the 100th Anniversary was $12.5 million.
In other areas Harley-Davidson reported:

  • Retail motorcycle sales for the year grew in the U.S. (18.3%), Europe (7.6%) and Japan (5.9%) compared to the same period last year.
  • Financial Services, Inc. (HDFS), a subsidiary of Harley- Davidson, Inc., reported fourth quarter operating income of $25.4 million, up $8.4 million or 49% compared to the year-ago quarter.
  • For the fiscal year ended 2002, total Harley-Davidson motorcycle shipments were 263,653 units compared with 234,461 units in 2001, a 12.5% increase. Harley-Davidson motorcycle revenue was $3.16 billion, an increase of $489.7 million or 18.3%.
  • P&A revenue totaled $629.2 million, a 23.5% increase, while General Merchandise revenue totaled $231.5 million, a 41.2% increase compared with 2001.
  • Operating income for HDFS for the year was $104.2 million, an increase of $43.0 million or 70.1% compared to 2001. It expects 2003 HDFS operating income to grow approximately 20% over 2002 performance.

S&P Raises harley ratings
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services raised its ratings on the subordinated classes issued by six Harley-Davidson Eaglemark Motorcycle Trust transactions and the rating on one Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Trust transaction. The raised ratings reflect increased loss protection percentages, the strong performance of the transactions, and low expected remaining cumulative losses.

ArvinMeritor Reports gains
ArvinMeritor, Inc. (NYSE:ARM), Troy, Mich., reported sales of $1.7 billion and net income of $32 million, or 47 cents per diluted share, for its first fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31, 2002. Sales increased $143 million, or 9%, compared to the prior year’s first quarter, and net income improved $63 million, compared to last year’s net loss of $31 million.
Results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2002 included restructuring costs of $15 million ($10 million after-tax, or 15 cents per diluted share) and the cumulative effect of the goodwill accounting change of $42 million, or 64 cents per diluted share. Excluding these charges from last year’s results, net income increased by $11 million, or 52%.
At the same time, ArvinMeritor Inc. said it will lay off 575 people in its light vehicle systems division and close a Tennessee plant in a cost-cutting move. The cuts represent 3.6% of the division’s work force of 16,000.
The company said it is closing its Gordonsville, Tennessee, plant by August, due to excess capacity in the North American passenger car supplier market. The plant, which produces window regulators and sunroof systems, employs 317 people.
ArvinMeritor said the Gordonsville operations will be transferred to facilities in Detroit, Michigan; Marion, South Carolina; Franklin, Indiana; and Queretaro, Mexico.

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