Harley unit sales off by -7.1 percent in U.S. in third quarter, international sales up again
Harley-Davidson are reporting that worldwide retail motorcycle sales in the third quarter were down -4.5 percent, primarily on weak U.S. industry trends. Harley-Davidson retail motorcycle sales in the U.S. were down -7.1 percent compared to the year-ago quarter, with the overall domestic U.S. motorcycle industry also down for the same period.
Harley-Davidson’s U.S. market share for the quarter was 52.3 percent in the 601cc-plus segment, “essentially flat” compared to the third quarter in 2015.
Harley-Davidson international retail sales increased by +1.0 percent over the prior year quarter.
“We continue to effectively navigate a fiercely competitive environment and an ongoing weak U.S. industry,” said Matt Levatich, president and chief executive officer. “We are pleased with the positive results and the enthusiasm we’ve seen for our Model Year 2017 motorcycles, featuring the new Milwaukee-Eight engine. We are confident that the entire line-up will drive retail sales growth for the remainder of 2016 and position us well heading into the spring riding season next year.”
Response to the new model year motorcycles is said to have driven increased retail sales in September over the prior year.
Recognizing the continued slower industry growth in the U.S., the company says it will “streamline” its operations in the fourth quarter of 2016. It expects to incur expenses of approximately $20 million to $25 million in the fourth quarter, primarily for employee separation and reorganization costs.
“Our value as a company and as a brand is the sum of 113 years of commitment to our riders and the freedom seekers we will inspire to ride in the future,” said Levatich. “We remain intensely focused on growing the sport and delivering strong business results.”
Retail sales in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa region) were up +1.9 percent in the third quarter and up +6.6 percent for the first nine months. Asia Pacific retail sales were up +1.7 percent in the quarter and up +2.9 percent for the first nine months compared to 2015, behind strong growth in Australia and Japan.
Revenue from motorcycles and related products was down compared to the third quarter in 2015, primarily behind decreased motorcycle shipments. Operating margin as a percent of revenue decreased versus the prior year.
Operating income from financial services was down -4.6 percent in the third quarter compared to the year ago period.
Harley-Davidson continues to expect to ship 264,000 to 269,000 motorcycles in 2016, which is approximately down -1 percent to up +1 percent from 2015. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the company expects to ship 44,200 to 49,200 motorcycles compared to 48,149 motorcycles shipped in the year-ago period.
The company continues to expect full-year 2016 operating margin of approximately 15 to 16 percent for the Motorcycles segment. The company continues to expect 2016 capital expenditures for Harley-Davidson, Inc. of $255 million to $275 million.
Third quarter 2016 diluted earnings per share decreased 7.2 percent to $0.64 compared to diluted EPS of $0.69 in the same period in 2015. Net income was $114.1 million on consolidated revenue of $1.27 billion compared to net income of $140.3 million on consolidated revenue of $1.32 billion in the third quarter of 2015.
Through nine months, Harley-Davidson 2016 net income was $645.0 million on consolidated revenue of $4.89 billion compared to nine-month 2015 net income of $710.0 million on consolidated revenue of $4.81 billion. Diluted EPS was $3.55 compared to diluted EPS of $3.41 in the year-ago period. Worldwide retail motorcycle sales were down 1.9 percent compared to the same period in 2015. International retail sales were up +3.3 percent, offset by a decline of -4.7 percent in U.S. retail sales.
In the third quarter, the company paid a cash dividend of $0.35 per share. During the same time-period, on a discretionary basis, the company repurchased 2.1 million shares of Harley-Davidson common stock for $104.6 million.
Also in the third quarter, there were approximately 179.3 million weighted-average diluted shares outstanding, compared to approximately 204.6 million shares in the year-ago quarter. As of September 25, 2016, a total of 20.9 million shares remained on board-approved share repurchase authorizations.