Harley-Davidson strives for overseas appeal

The motorcycle company wants to take its brand to foreign markets. Executives are optimistic that sales will grow with disposable income in other countries.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 29, 2013 5:24PM
Credit: Saarthak Aurora/ Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Harley-Davidson (HD), which is as American as baseball and apple pie, is keen to expand outside the U.S. So far, its plans seem to be working.

The Milwaukee company saw 2012 retail sales gains of 39.2% in Latin America and 14.3% in Asia Pacific, far greater than the 6.2% increase seen in North America. Sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa fell 3%.

The company vowed three years ago to open as many as 150 dealerships outside the U.S. and is on track to do just that, though overseas sales remain a small part of overall revenue. 
 
"And so we think that as disposable personal income in those regions continue to grow and we provide the right kind of products. . . there's upside there for us," CEO Keith Wandell said during Tuesday's earnings conference call. "Then there's other emerging markets, which we just sort of have begun to touch, so we think the future is very bright in terms of our international expansion."

Given the economic turmoil in Europe, the company no longer expects that international sales will exceed 40% of total retail sales by 2014. Nonetheless, they are still doing well. Fourth-quarter sales of new motorcycles rose by 7.5% worldwide from a year earlier. U.S. sales jumped 8.4% and international revenue rose 6.3%.

Shares of Harley-Davidson were up 2.6% in afternoon trading, after initially falling after the company reported disappointing earnings. (Click here for a complete report.) Investors, though, took a closer look at the numbers and found plenty to like.

As Reuters notes, the company expects profit margins to rise as Harley-Davidson benefits from an overhaul in its manufacturing processes to make it more efficient. The stock has gained more than 23% this year.

--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.

More on moneyNOW


Tags: Earnings
1Comment
Jan 29, 2013 11:19PM
avatar

They should open a dealership in the Philippines, there is a big market here for real motorcycles (not the ones here they call MC's lol).  I would rather buy a new one here than ship mine from the US when I retire with my wife here in 2017!

 

Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?

MARKET UPDATE

[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices closed out the month of August on a modestly higher note. The Russell 2000 (+0.6%) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) finished ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.3%), which extended its August gain to 3.8%. Blue chips lagged with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) spending the bulk of the session in the red.

The final week of August represented one of the quietest stretches for the stock market so far this year. The first four sessions of the week produced the ... More

MSN MONEY'S