Harley-Davidson Profits Up Despite Declining Sales

Published by: Mike Goldman on 19th Oct 2010 | View all blogs by Mike Goldman


Harley-Davidson Profits Up Despite Declining Sales

Sales for Harley-Davidson declined in the third quarter, though profits more than tripled thanks to cost cutting efforts made by its financial services division to prevent losses in the struggling US economy.

The Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer also said it expects yearly sales to decline by as much as 7 percent from 2009, prompting shares of the company to drop 3 percent in early trading on Tuesday.  Net income for the company was reported as $88.8 million, or 38 cents per share for the last quarter.  In comparison, earnings for the company were only $26.5 million, or 11 cents per share, for the same three months in 2009.

Harley reported a drop of 7.7 percent in global retail motorcycle sales, which included a decline of 9.4 percent in US sales.  Overshadowing the disappointing sales for the company was the company's Financial Services division, which reported operating income of $50.9 million for the quarter, compared to $31.5 million reported for the division in the same three month period last year.

Harley-Davidson has been at the forefront of American companies in cutting costs to survive in the troubled US economy, through extensive restructuring and bitterly fought labor disputes with employees' unions.  The company forced a number of concessions from workers in September by threatening to move its two Wisconsin-based plants to another state if workers held firm.  The move is estimated to preserve about 1,350 jobs in the state.

Shares of Harley-Davisdon stock declined $1.02 in early Tuesday trading to $31.47.

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