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June 1, 2004
Filed under Features

Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HDI) posted record revenue and earnings for its first quarter ended March 28, 2004. Revenue for the quarter was $1.17 billion compared with $1.11 billion in the year-ago quarter, a 4.7% increase. First quarter diluted earnings per share (EPS) was 68 cents, an 11.5% increase compared with last year’s 61 cents.
“By almost any measure, we are off to a very strong start in 2004 continuing the momentum of our 100th Anniversary,” said Jeffrey L. Bleustein, Harley’s chairman and CEO. “Our U.S. dealer network posted the highest first quarter retail sales for Harley-Davidson motorcycles in its history — 13% ahead of last year,” he said.
At the same time, he said, first quarter motorcycle production was on pace to reach the company’s 2004 goal of 317,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The performance continues to position Harley in its plan retail 400,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles in 2007 and to deliver an annual earnings growth rate in the mid-teens.
Based in part on the first quarter performance, Harley-Davidson’s board of directors approved the repurchase of 7.8 million shares of stock during the quarter.
First quarter revenue from Harley-Davidson motorcycles was $919 million, an increase of 4.8% over the first quarter last year. Shipments of Harley-Davidson motorcycles totaled 74,090, up 3,482 units or 4.9% over last year.
First quarter gross margin for the motorcycles and related products segment was 37.8% of revenue compared to 36.2% in the first quarter of last year. Margins were aided by foreign currency exchange rates and operating efficiencies.
Harley-Davidson retail motorcycle sales for the quarter were up 11.6% worldwide driven by strong performance in the U.S. which was up 13.0%. For the quarter, Harley shipped 59,744 bikes in the U.S. and exported 14,346. It also shipped a total of 2,603 Buell bikes. psb
Polaris reports record quarter
Polaris Industries Inc. (PII) (PSE:PII) reported record net income of 32 cents per diluted share for the first quarter ended March 31, 2004, a 14% increase over the prior year first quarter net income of 28 cents per diluted share.
Higher sales volume than last year’s first quarter across each product line along with expanded gross margins and higher income from financial services contributed to the first quarter 2004 earnings increase.
Net income for the first quarter 2004 was a record $14.3 million, a 15% increase over the prior year first quarter net income of $12.4 million. Sales for the first quarter 2004 totaled a record $346.0 million, up 10% from last year’s first quarter sales of $313.9 million.
ATV sales in the first quarter 2004 increased three percent over the first quarter 2003. Continued strong growth in the RANGER product line and strong international sales growth boosted ATV sales. Dealer inventories of Polaris ATVs at March 31, 2004 remain at comparable levels to a year ago, the company said.
Sales of Victory motorcycles increased 40 percent during the first quarter 2004 from the first quarter 2003.
Parts, Garments, and Accessories sales increased 18% during the first quarter 2004 compared to last year’s first quarter. The PG&A business was aided by stronger sales for snowmobile parts and accessories as snowfall and riding conditions returned to more normal levels this past season. Continued growth in ATV PG&A also helped this category.
Polaris’ PWC sales increased 46% during the first quarter 2004 compared to the first quarter 2003. Timing of shipments was the primary reason for the increased sales in the first quarter, the company said.
Snowmobile sales increased 64% to $13.3 million for the first quarter 2004 compared to the prior year’s first quarter resulting from improved late-season dealer demand. Dealer inventory levels of snowmobiles at the end of the 2003-2004 selling season are approximately half of what they were a year ago as a result of reduced production levels over the past two years and more normal snowfall in North America during the past riding season.
Income from financial services increased 86% to $8.1 million in the first quarter 2004, up from $4.4 million in the first quarter 2003 primarily due to increased profitability generated from the retail credit portfolio resulting from consumers making use of available retail financing options and increases in company-sponsored retail finance sales incentives throughout 2003 and into the first quarter of 2004. psb

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