The world’s largest maker of heavyweight motorcycles continues to struggle. Net income fell 82% in its fiscal fourth quarter to $8.3 million, compared with a year earlier. Earnings per share were 5 cents, down from 27 cents a year earlier. Revenue, however, was up: $1.23 billion from $1.11 billion last year.

It appears that a big part of the earnings drop is the 91% effective tax rate associated with President Trump’s tax cut, along with  a $29.4 million charge for a voluntary product recall.

Click on the link below to see H-D’s whole 30-page presentation.

Harley-Q4 2017 Quarterly Slides

Furthermore, this morning’s USA Today reports that part of H-D’s consolidation plan will result in closure of H-D’s Kansas City manufacturing plant, along with the loss of 800 jobs.

It’s not exactly a rosy picture for the Motor Company, but it’s seen much worse; see 2009-2010 in the above chart. Limp sales over the past few years have encouraged the introduction of a slew of new models and rider initiatives for 2018, and the slide presentation claims there are 32,000 more H-D riders in the U.S. than there were a year ago. Plant consolidation, lower taxes, and increasing overseas sales are expected to boost the bottom line going forward. And H-D even says it plans to “invest more aggressively in electric motorcycle technology.”

HOG stock was down nearly 9% on the news (on a bad day for Wall Street in general). But we wouldn’t count H-D out anytime soon. It’s not over till the Fat Bob sings.

 

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