Harley 3Q income jumps 18 percent

Strong acceptance of the new 2007 lineup plus healthy international sales led to a record third quarter for Harley-Davidson.
The motorcycle manufacturer reported double-digit increases for sales, revenue and earnings per share in the third quarter as compared to the year-ago quarter.
“With four new models and an all-new Twin Cam 96 engine with six-speed transmission on Big Twin motorcycles, the 2007 model line has been a big hit with customers,” Harley-Davidson CEO Jim Ziemer said in a press release.
Third-quarter revenue leaped 14.3 percent to $1.64 billion and net income increased percentage-wise even more compared to the prior-year quarter. The third-quarter net income was up 18 percent to $312.7 million.
Due to consecutive strong quarters — H-D’s sales grew 10 percent in the second quarter — year-end production for its worldwide markets is expected to climb toward 351,000 bikes.
Increased international sales is certainly driving the increase in manufacturing. H-D reported an 18.7 percent increase in third-quarter international sales compared to the prior-year third quarter. Some of the increases came in Japan (up 13.7 percent), Europe (9.9 percent) and Canada (30.2 percent).
In the United States, H-D sales were up 6.7 percent in the third quarter after growing 8.1 percent in the second quarter.
During the first nine months of this year, H-D worldwide retail sales were up almost 9 percent.
“As we look to the future, the company believes it will continue to deliver EPS growth in the range of 11-17 percent annually through 2009,” Ziemer said. “We expect earnings growth to be driven by solid revenue growth, margin improvement and the benefits of strong free cash flow.”
Through September, Harley repurchased 17.2 million shares of its common stock at a cost of $911 million. On Oct. 11, the company’s board of directors authorized a new share repurchase for up to 20 million additional shares.
Harley also announced revenue increases in its parts and accessory lines. psb

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