Harley wants potential investors to know business is booming so the motor company issued a press release yesterday that was rewritten as a news story in the business sections of most of America’s national newspapers this morning.
The brief version of the news in that release is that Harley-Davidson’s earnings rose 18.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014. Worldwide sales rose 5.8 percent. The company’s net income rose to $265.9 million which is $41.8 million more than a year ago. The news was so encouraging to investors that the price of Harley’s stock rose nearly seven percent yesterday.
The two little tiny bits of semi-bad news is that American sales were nearly flat from a year ago. And the company’s “general merchandise” sales, which includes tee-shirts, fell from $72.144 million a year ago to $64.114 million in the first quarter of this year.
“‘Harley-Davidson delivered gains on many fronts in the first quarter, with shipments up 7.3%, strong margin improvement and solid growth in dealer new motorcycle sales,’ said Keith Wandell, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc.
“‘Thanks to the great contributions of our employees, dealers and suppliers, we continue to lead at delivering exceptional customer experiences in 89 countries,’ said Wandell. ‘Our Project RUSHMORE motorcycles were in high demand in the quarter and we began shipping the Harley-Davidson Street 750 and 500 into select markets. These motorcycles, together with continuous improvement in our operations at every level, underscore the momentum we’ve established as a customer-led company.’”
“‘Our dealers had a solid quarter of retail motorcycle sales. Sales in the Asia Pacific region were up strongly, and we are encouraged by the continued growth of new Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales in Europe. We’re also excited to be entering the heart of the retail selling season in the U.S., having achieved first-quarter retail growth of 3.0% in the midst of a long, cold winter,’ said Wandell.
“According to Wandell, ‘there’s also great news for Harley-Davidson in the annual reporting of our demographic market share data.’”
Demographic Market Share Data
“In 2013, for the sixth consecutive year, Harley-Davidson was the number-one seller of new on-road motorcycles in the U.S., both 601cc-plus and across all displacements, to young adults age 18-34, women, African-Americans and Hispanics (‘outreach’ customers) and Caucasian men age 35-plus (‘core’ customers), according to Polk 2013 U.S. new motorcycle registration data from IHS Automotive. The Company grew its U.S. market share and also increased its share gap to the nearest competitor in each of these segments, compared to 2012.
“‘Together with our dealers, we continued to expand the appeal of our products and the Harley-Davidson experience,’ said Wandell. ‘Harley-Davidson dealers sold more than four times as many new, on-road motorcycles, 601cc and up, to U.S. young adults last year, and among riders age 35-plus, more than nine times as many to women, more than six times as many to African Americans and more than seven times as many to Hispanics, as the nearest competitor.’
“According to Harley-Davidson’s internal data, retail sales of its motorcycles to U.S. outreach customers grew at more than twice the rate of sales growth to core customers in 2013 compared to 2012.”
“Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the parent company of Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Harley-Davidson Financial Services. Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. Harley-Davidson Financial Services provides wholesale and retail financing, insurance, extended service and other protection plans and credit card programs to Harley-Davidson dealers and riders in the U.S., Canada and other select international markets. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson’s Web site at www.harley-davidson.com.”