Harley-Davidson reports strong margins, sales drop in Q2

Harley-Davidson, Inc. reported its second quarter 2017 results, with worldwide motorcycle retail sales seeing a 6.7 percent decrease as compared to the same period in 2016. The company’s diluted EPS decreased 4.5 percent to $1.48 compared to $1.55 in the second quarter of 2016. Second quarter net income was $258.9 million on consolidated revenue of $1.77 billion versus net income of $280.4 million on consolidated revenue of $1.86 billion for the same period in 2016.

"We are pleased with our ability to deliver strong margins in the quarter despite challenging market conditions, particularly in the U.S.," said Matt Levatich, president and CEO, Harley-Davidson. "Given U.S. industry challenges in the second quarter and the importance of the supply and demand balance for our premium brand, we are lowering our full-year shipment and margin guidance."

Harley-Davidson retail motorcycle sales in the U.S. were down 9.3 percent compared to the year-ago quarter, with the overall U.S. industry down for the same period. Harley-Davidson's U.S. market share for the quarter was 48.5 percent in the 601cc-plus segment. Harley-Davidson'sinternational retail sales decreased 2.3 percent compared to the second quarter in 2016.

Through six months, Harley-Davidson's 2017 diluted EPS was $2.53, down 13.1 percent from $2.91 in the year-ago period. For the first six months, Harley-Davidson's 2017 net income was $445.2 million on consolidated revenue of $3.27 billion compared to six-month 2016 net income of $530.9 million on consolidated revenue of $3.61 billion. Through six months, worldwide retail motorcycle sales were down 5.7 percent from the same period in 2016.

"Our long-term strategy, focused on building the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders, is our true north. Our new product investment is one pillar of our long-term strategy to build riders globally and we are energized by the strength of our model year 2018 motorcycles coming later this summer," said Levatich.

Harley-Davidson Retail Motorcycle Sales

Harley-Davidson new retail motorcycle sales in the U.S. were down primarily driven by weak industry conditions. New retail sales internationally were also down but generally in-line with company expectations for the second quarter of 2017. 

Motorcycles and Related Product Segment Results

Revenue from the Motorcycles and Related Products segment was down in the second quarter of 2017 versus prior year largely due to lower motorcycle shipments. Operating margin as a percent of revenue increased versus the prior year quarter primarily as a result of mix favorability driven by demand for the Milwaukee-Eight powered touring motorcycles and lower SG&A spending.

Income Tax Rate
For the first half of 2017, Harley-Davidson's effective tax rate was 34.4 percent compared to 32.7 percent in the prior year period. The company continues to expect its full-year 2017 effective tax rate to be approximately 34.5 percent.

Other Results 

Cash and marketable securities totaled $988.5 million at the end of the quarter, compared to $869.7 million in the year-ago quarter. During the first six months of 2017, Harley-Davidson generated $627.1 million of cash from operating activities compared to $456.3 million for the first half of 2016. The company paid a cash dividend of $0.365 per share for the second quarter of 2017, and a cumulative total of $0.73 for the first six months of 2017. On a discretionary basis, the company repurchased 3.0 million shares of its common stock during the second quarter of 2017 for $163.2 million. In the second quarter of 2017, there were approximately 175.3 million weighted-average diluted common shares outstanding, compared to 181.3 million shares in the same period a year ago. At the end of the period, 15.0 million shares remained on a board-approved share repurchase authorization.


Harley-Davidson is revising its full-year guidance for motorcycle shipments and now expects to ship 241,000 to 246,000 motorcycles to dealers worldwide in 2017, which is down approximately 6 percent to 8 percent from 2016. The company had previously provided full-year shipment guidance of flat to down modestly in comparison to 2016. In the third quarter, the company expects to ship 39,000 to 44,000 motorcycles, which is down approximately 10 percent to 20 percent from 2016. The company now expects full-year 2017 operating margin to be down approximately 1 percentage point compared to 2016. The company continues to expect 2017 capital expenditures to be $200 million to $220 million.


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