Harley-Davidson Softtails Profits, Faces SEC

    July 13, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Second quarter earnings declined four percent from the same period last year, but still beat analyst expectations.

The Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker has increased its full-year earnings target. For the second quarter, the company earned 84 cents per share, a new record and a one cent increase over the second quarter last year.

“Harley-Davidson had a successful second quarter,” said Jim Ziemer, Chief Executive Officer, Harley-Davidson, Inc. “The Company produced record revenue despite lower motorcycle shipments compared to the year ago quarter.

“We shipped 77,000 motorcycles to our dealers as planned, while retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles grew to record levels of 114,000 units.”

Revenue for the quarter rose slightly to $1.333 billion USD, while net income moved a bit downward to $237.4 million. The company also repurchased 17.7 million shares in the quarter, adding to the 2.9 million shares it repurchased in the first quarter. So even with a slight decline in earnings overall, the per share figure went up.

On Monday, the SEC informed Mr. Ziemer that it would be looking into matters referred to in lawsuits against the company filed by some shareholders. The company believes the lawsuits, stemming from Harley-Davidson’s announced plans to reduce production by 10,000 units, are without merit.

The legendary motorcycle company plans to cooperate with the SEC’s request, and reminds riders that July 20th is Ride To Work Day.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.