Killer Companies: Harley-Davidson hits the throttle
The iconic motorcycle maker recently reported disappointing fourth-quarter results, but investors are confident that Harley will keep humming.
Harley-Davidson (HOG) has the wind at its back. The gradual economic recovery combined with manufacturing changes aimed at making the motorcycle maker more efficient are helping the top and bottom lines.
Plus, Harleys remain as popular as ever and will continue to sell well as the baby boomers who yearned for them after watching "Easy Rider" can now afford to ride off into retirement on their dream bike.
Harley-Davidson expects to ship 259,000 to 264,000 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2013 -- a nice jump from 2012. Shipments in the first quarter will likely surge by 18%, reaching as high as 76,000 -- a remarkable figure given the current economic uncertainty. The company also reported improvements in both gross and operating margins. That's good news as well.
Even Goldman Sachs, which recently downgraded Harley shares because of concerns they were getting expensive, noted that the company's finances were healthy and that it should continue to increase sales.
The stock isn't cheap, but it hasn't reached truly frothy levels. HOG shares are trading at a price-to-earnings multiple of 19.78, well under the five-year high of 83.32. Analysts' average 52-week price target is $59, about 9% higher than where the stock recently traded.
Investors might want to wait for the price to pull back some before adding HOG to their portfolio. But when it comes to investing, people rarely go wrong if they stick with iconic brands. And while Harley won't always live up to its "born to be wild" theme, its strong track record says it should be a solid performer in the coming months -- and years.
I don’t understand why everyone is complaining about H-D here, mine is a daily driver and I have not had any problems at all for the last two years of operation. My only complaint is the cost of accessories and that washing it thoroughly takes some time.
Ninety-five percent of Harley-Davidson's ever built are still on the road today.
The other five-percent made it home.
Hardley-Ableson ..... Tomorrows dollars for yesterdays technology.
harleys are garbage. Always have been.
Nothing more than a small d*ck image.
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Killer Companies is a look at companies in the headlines that are killing it and getting killed in the market today.