Feb. 13, 2006 – Finance Digest

Harley-Davidson Q4 profit up 10%
Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. posted net profit of $230 million, or 84 cents a share, for its fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 up from earnings of $209 million, or 71 cents per share, for the same quarter in 2004.
As a result, the manufacturer earned its 20th straight year of record revenue, earnings and retail motorcycle sales, CEO Jim Ziemer said during a conference call.
In a statement, Ziemer said Harley-Davidson believes “the prospects for retail growth
remain strong” and projected a wholesale unit growth rate of 5 to 9% annually and an annual earnings-per-share growth rate of 11 to 17%.
Total fourth-quarter revenue was $1.34 billion, up 10% from revenue of $1.22 billion for the same period last year. Motorcycle revenue was up 10% to $1.09 billion.
Net profit for the full year ended Dec. 31 was $959.6 million, or $3.41 per share, up 8% from $889.8 million, or $3 per share, in 2004. Revenue grew 7% to $5.34 billion from $5.02 billion in the prior year.
Harley-Davidson full-year cycle sales were up 6.2% to 317,169 units. U.S. sales grew 4.2% to 253,414 units, European sales grew 19.9% to 29,482, and sales in Japan jumped 11.1% to 11,420.
Harley-Davidson plans to ship 348,000 to 352,000 units this year. They also are expecting 79,000 wholesale shipments

Piaggio Taps Five Banks For IPO
Piaggio & C. SpA has hired five banks to aid it in its forthcoming initial public offering on the Italian stock exchange, Borsa Italiana.
Mediobanca SpA, Banca Intesa SpA unit Banca Caboto, Citigroup Inc., Lehman Brothers and Deutsche Bank AG will be global coordinators for the offering, Piaggio revealed in a prepared statement. Banca Caboto and Mediobanca will coordinate the retail offer.

Ducati Names UBM for Capital Increase
Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (DMH) has named Unicredit Banca Mobiliare S.p.A. (UBM) to assist the company in evaluating, organizing and conducting a possible capital increase.
An Extraordinary Shareholders’ meeting was held Jan. 26 to grant Ducati’s Board of Directors the power to increase the company’s share capital, in one or more instances, over a period of five years, for up to a maximum of Euro 80 million through the issuance of DMH ordinary shares to be offered to shareholders by way of subscription rights.
Plans call for UBM to also promote and set up a syndicate of stand-by underwriters who will subscribe to any shares that may remain unsubscribed to at the conclusion of the transaction.

BRP?hires chief financial officer
Montreal-based Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) has hired Daniel Denault, vice president and chief financial officer of Transcontinental, to serve as chief financial officer beginning Feb. 20.
Denault has been with Transcontinental since 1998. He served as vice president of finance at Domtar prior to joining Transcontinental.
“I am very pleased Daniel agreed to join our team,” José Boisjoli, BRP president and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement. “The knowledge and vast experience he has acquired in multinational manufacturing corporations over the last 20 years make him the right candidate for this position.”

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